Why the Global Crisis? History’s Footprints
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Stellenbosch University
Publication date: 2014-07-07
Polish Sociological Review 2014;186(2):213-224
This article unravels the complex dynamic that had led to the September 2008 financial collapse and to the subsequent and continuing global economic downturn. Taking a longer historical perspective it argues for the need to go beyond the immediate causes that are most often cited, by academics and non-academics alike, as the main reason behind the crash. The essay is first focused on the evolution of societal values within a democratic society, with a specific focus on the United States, the quintessential Western democracy. It shows how the puritan values of social responsibility, hard work and prudence came to be replaced by the ‘me first culture’ characterised by self-realisation and instant gratification. The article also examines the various policies democratic leaders the world over have been implementing in an effort to meet the growing societal aspirations brought on by the normative changes.
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