Monday, August 27, 2007

The Marshall Plan reappraised

In our own time, liberal internationalists have periodically called for new Marshall Plans. After the collapse of Communism, some economists maintained that the former Soviet Union was in need of one. More recently, there has been desultory talk of Marshall Plans for Afghanistan, Iraq, and even the West Bank and Gaza. When critics lament the allegedly modest sums currently spent by the American government on foreign aid, they often draw an unfavorable contrast with the late nineteen-forties. Yet some people, at the time of its inception and since, have questioned both the Marshall Plan’s motivation and its efficacy. Was it really so altruistic? And did it really avert a calamity?

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