Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul combined at a crucial juncture in world history to make epochal changes in the world. They did two things that had a monumental impact on history: they brought down the USSR and reignited faith in the free market.
Thatcher in her own words:
The fact was that in this country [England], we had gone very much further toward socialism than most democratic countries in Europe—in the extent of the public sector, with the nationalized industries, and the amount of control, and to some extent in attitudes. We had to turn that back. In other words, the center is always the midway between two points, and the whole of the political debate had gone to the left, so the center had moved to the left and I think we are well on the way to pulling it back toward the center. But one wishes to go further. . . .
All of this is going much, much more towards the restoration of the personal responsibility, the independence, with every man a property owner, with every man a capitalist, getting away from the head of state having such a big sector, such a big voice. And, of course, running our financial affairs soundly so that the task of government is to create the climate in which enterprise can flourish.