Friday, July 28, 2017

Is the American Experiment in Self Government at an End

There was the belief at the end of the Cold War, and the fall of the Soviet Union, that the West had triumphed. That liberal democracy, that the ideas of the enlightenment, were not only on the march, but were inevitable.

Nothing could have turned out to be more false. Not just for the world, but for America as well. Whether it was merely the cycles of history, the onset of change from from both technology and social structures, or the unintended consequences of perpetual and normal economic cycles, the opposite has happened.

Today liberal democracy, the very cornerstone of western civilization, is under siege. Authoritarianism, ignorance, and nostalgia for a simpler time are on the march. So much so that it's possible that both the American experiment in self government and its tradition as a model to the world, both may be coming to an end.

How we got here, and what lies ahead are at the heart of a new book by Edward Luce, The Retreat of Western Liberalism.

My conversation with Ed Luce: