Mr. Putin, a man we all know for his sense of fair play, tolerance, and generosity of spirit has pronounced that liberalism is dead. Well, what do you know, are we surprised? Is he right? It’s this last question that bothers me.
Messrs Putin, Xi, Erdogan, Trump, and several others form a very powerful axis, none of them are remotely liberal. Between them, they carry more influence than the European block, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand combined. Between these two groups of authoritarian and liberal regimes stand those who grapple with extreme problems of fundamentalism (e.g.Iran), extreme corrupt socialism (e.g. Venezuela) or radical revisionism. India and South Africa, who both grapple with monumental change.
All nations it seems, follow strong leaders. In the UK recently we have had a conspicuous absence of leadership which has led us to the edge of chaos. The nation is about to appoint a chaotic leader whose key attributes are charisma and a bad haircut. Despite all the negatives, the UK will appoint a Bullingdon Club boor as its next prime minister simply because he has charisma. Johnson is a populist in the Trump mold, who will, if allowed, enjoy an authoritarian role focused solely on the Brexit question where charisma outshines the policies for the common good.
Will the UK allow Boris Johnson to lead it out of the EU in an impossible time scale? Will this ‘no deal’ action result in the breakup of the UK? Will a general election that follows destroy the center ground of British politics? Will the liberal majority bring Johnson down, with what consequence?
Was Putin right? Is liberalism dead?