Policy Forum

The Impact of the Bolshevik Revolution on the Scope and Size of Government in the West

October 19, 2017 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT

Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

Featuring Vito Tanzi, Former Director of Fiscal Affairs, International Monetary Fund; Amity Shlaes, Author, Lecturer, and Chair of Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation; Andrei Illarionov, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute; moderated by Marian L. Tupy, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

Before the outbreak of World War I, government spending as a share of gross domestic product in the developed world averaged 13 percent and the role of public officials in the lives of the citizenry was restricted to a few core functions, including justice and national defense. At the dawn of the 21st century, average government spending among rich countries stood at 44 percent of gross domestic product and the scope of government had grown immensely. Our panel looks at the influence of the Bolshevik Revolution on intellectuals, policymakers, and the public debate in the West concerning the proper role of government and its subsequent growth.