Good riddance to neoliberalism

I listened to a fascinating debate on the BBC’s The World This Weekend about the ideological origins of that thing, populism. The agreeably thuggish Javier Milei had just taken the reins of Argentina and, perhaps a little late in the day, the TW2 (as it is known in BBC circles) production team had noticed that almost every election held anywhere these days – except perhaps Australia and here – tends to result in a win for a party which is either overtly populist, as in Argentina, or is called populist by its opponents and the BBC. What the hell is going on, they wondered, only ten years too late. Who

Has liberalism destroyed itself?

According to Vladimir Putin, liberalism is an ‘obsolete’ doctrine, a worn-out political philosophy no longer fit for purpose. In this well-timed, rather urgent book, Francis Fukuyama attacks that view and puts a vigorous case for the defence. Despite its faults, liberalism is a force for good, he says, and it remains the only political philosophy capable of taking on the authoritarians of Moscow and Beijing. But the despots are not the central focus of his argument. The biggest threats to the liberal society, he writes, come from within. In Fukuyama’s crisp retelling, the liberal ideal emerged in the aftermath of Europe’s wars of religion. The notion that people could only