The collapse of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago abruptly brought to a close what the historian Eric Hobsbawm famously called the “Short 20th Century”—short both because it began late, with the Russian Revolution of 1917, and because the historic epoch it marked ended a decade before the century’s close. Humanity’s greatest success in overthrowing capitalism in one country, and making its working people arbiters of their own fate by creating new modes of organisation of society and economy and a novel state form, ended in catastrophe as the USSR disintegrated and international socialism effectively ceased to exist.