Why did people stop believing in socialism? Part of the answer is simply the passage of time: you can't expect revolutionary fervor to last for 70 years. But perhaps also the unexpected resurgence of capitalism played a role. By the 1980s Russia's elite was all too aware that the country, instead of overtaking the capitalist nations, was slipping behind - that Russia was failing to take advantage of new technology, that if anyone was challenging the West it was the rising nations of Asia. Communism lost any claim to the mandate of history well before it actually fell apart, and perhaps that is why it fell apart.
In the end, then, capitalism triumphed because it is a system that is robust to cynicism, that assumes that each man is out for himself. For much of the past century and a half men have dreamed of something better, of an economy that drew on man's better nature. But dreams, it turns out, can't keep a system going over the long term; selfishness can.
Zynismus also ... derselbe Zynismus von dem Peter Sloterdijk einst in seinem Buch "Kritik der zynischen Vernunft" meinte das er zur "Deformation des Charakters" führe. Nun, es schent als würde er zumindest zur Deformation der conditio humana führen, aber nicht nur - wie Hanna Arendt zunächst meinte - kommt es zu einer "Selbst-Entfremdung des Menschen von seiner Natur" sondern auch zunehmend zu einer Entfremdung der Natur vom Menschen. Es wird vielleicht Zeit wieder Sloterdijk zu lesen ...