Nowotny - Chapter 08
"You've never had it so good!" This was the
motto used by the English conservative prime minister Harold Macmillan
during his successful election campaign in 1959.1 Political stability
and economic growth were the characteristics of that time. In "Age of
Extremes," Eric J. Hobsbawm describes this period as "the golden years"
of the "short" twentieth century. In Hobsbawm's opinion, the 1950s and
1960s were reassuringly different compared to the preceding "age of
catastrophe," but also to the time after 1973, which he labels "the
"You've never had it so good!" Indeed, societies in the Western
Hemisphere prospered from an unparalleled growth in affluence. One year
of booming economy was followed by another and after an initial
skepticism, which was nourished by memories of the recent past, people
grew more and more confident. Finally, at the beginning of the 1960s
perpetual economic growth was considered to be the norm.