Enlightened thinking overshadowed

Robert Fox admires an account of why the liberal order is being rejected.

The World Today Updated 28 September 2020 Published 10 February 2020 3 minute READ

Robert Fox

Defence Editor, Evening Standard

The Light that Failed was one of the most overlooked books of last year. It should not have been. It is one of the most refined and elegant essays on the thesis put forward by Francis Fukuyama in his 1992 work, The End of History.

Of course, Fukuyama wasn’t postulating that history had come to a grinding halt, as he has been misreported over the years, notably in military academies. He was saying, to use military-speak, that after 1989 history had reached a culminating point. In the unipolar world, with America the one remaining nuclear superpower, the new liberal order would prevail in economics, politics and law.

The authors of this book, the Bulgarian-born academic Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes, a law professor at New York University, depict liberalism as meaning ‘freedom of travel, dissent and justice.’

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