Mrs. Thatcher’s most significant contribution to the revolutions of 1989 and 1991 (which brought down first the Soviet Empire, then the Soviet Union itself) was her economic revival of the British economy through free-market policies ofeconomic deregulation,sound money and privatization.
Those policies were rooted in the practical economics of a Grantham corner shop and in English provincial Methodism, as well as in the intellectual revival of economic liberalism pioneered by the Institute of Economic Affairs. It was about freedom and opportunity as well as about economic efficiency.
In the early 1960s Thatcher told an IEA meeting of Tory members of Parliament dispirited by the party’s leftward drift that they were in the wrong job if they couldn’t convince voters that the private-sector retailer Marks and Spencer gave them better value than the Co-op or the Post Office. Her favorite quotation from John Wesley was: “Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.”
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