Galbraith's theory, popular at one time, was relegated to the background by the exacerbation of the struggle between East and West. The severe formulations of the period when the Soviet Union was the lone socialist island in a sea of capitalist encirclement gave way to more restrained formulations at times of comparatively positive developments in relations with the countries of the West. The main thing is to understand and acknowledge that Western society has experienced serious social advances which cannot be countermanded by waverings in the direction of more privatization and less government intervention. To an enormous extent, solving the problem of East and West is a matter on which depend not just the fates of both sides, but the very survival of humanity. And a solution to this problem is ultimately impossible without surmounting the profound ideological confrontation which is the basis of the present-day division of the world.