1948 saw the creation of Israel; the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention; the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; the Berlin airlift and the desegregation of the U.S. military.
The whole article is a must read for everyone. But i have come to many of its conclusions over the years...
But we also need to ask something else, and ask it hard: What is it that we failed to understand, what are the realities to which we blinded ourselves? It's a question that will take decades to answer but I think we can point to several sets of errors. This list is not exhaustive, but you have to start somewhere.
First, we assumed that people all over the world want the same things; that mix of individual, civil and political freedom plus regulated free market capitalism characteristic of America and the states of Western Europe. Relatedly, we believed that when pressed to choose between prosperity and freedom, people everywhere would choose freedom. Moreover, we thought that one couldn't go without the other, an error that China is proving more and more wrong with each passing day.