Monday, July 15, 2019

The Retreat of Western Liberalism

Populist leaders seem to be gathering strength around the world, with none more famous than the one currently domiciled in the White House. What is going on? In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, journalist and speechwriter Edward Luce attempts to explain it.

Luce's narrative is based on this incredible elephant chart:



The West's lower classes have seen everybody else charge ahead while they have been left behind.

Traditionally, left of center parties have been there for these groups: they have promoted socialist policies to keep income inequality from getting out of hand. But over the last few decades, these parties have drifted away from these groups, championing other policies that their shifting constituents have preferred: pro-LGBTQ, pro-choice, pro-immigration etc.

This has a left a void that opportunistic populist leaders have been able to take advantage of. What can be done to prevent the strength of leaders who would prefer governments void of checks and balances?

The book is a nice and short read, and I recommend it if the topic interests you.

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