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On May 8, 1945, when World War II in Europe officially ended, much of the world lay in ruins.Similar demands were heard all over Europe, where the anti-Nazi or anti-fascist resistance was often led by leftists, or indeed Communists, and prewar conservatives were frequently tainted by the fact that they had collaborated with fascist regimes.Stalin was content to settle for an empire in Eastern Europe.The swing to the left, to social-democratic welfare states, occurred all over Western Europe.A different kind of revolution was taking place in Europe's former colonies in Asia, where native peoples had no desire to be ruled once more by Western powers, which had been so ignominiously defeated by Japan. The U.N., like the dream of European unity, was also part of the 1945 consensus. For a short while, many prominent people – Albert Einstein, for one – believed that only a world government would be able to ensure global peace.In some ways the 1945 consensus, in the West, was strengthened by Cold War politics.Few people can muster great enthusiasm for the U.N. The European dream is in crisis.
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