John Michael Colón in The Point:
Thirty years ago socialism was dead and buried. This was not an illusion or a temporary hiccup, a point all the more important to emphasize up front in light of its recent revival in this country and around the world. There was no reason this resurrection had to happen; no law of nature or history compelled it. To understand why it did is to unlock a door, behind which lies something like the truth of our age.
Some will say I exaggerate. But it’s best not to mince words about such things if you want to grasp or even to glimpse how the world really works—something more and more people are interested in nowadays, even as that world spirals beyond the reach of the ideas they’d previously used to understand it. And there is no greater obstacle to understanding than euphemism. So again I will insist: probably in 1989 and certainly by the time I was born in 1993, socialism was at an end.
There are a thousand ways to tell the story of why and how this came to be so. But the best—because the most concise and spiritually invested in the matter—remains George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the fairy tale I read about it when I was fourteen.