From the 'End of History' to the 'End of Liberalism'?
A Re-evaluation of the Merits of Liberal Democracies in Contemporary Global Political Philosophy
A variety of pathologies within contemporary Western political regimes question the preference for liberal democracies: they can be contradictory, have produced significant economic inequalities, corroded social fabric, and lack a claim to exceptionalism. This judgment leads critics to conclude that not only the implementation but also the very foundation of liberal principles is flawed. In opposition to Francis Fukuyama’s initial (and now revised) claim from 1989, some argue that liberalism, rather than history, has come to its end. This essay argues that there are still merits to liberal democracies that are worth preserving. Utilising arguments from classical and neoliberal traditions it is possible to claim that individualism still serves as a bulwark against the subjugation of individuals and the arbitrary divisions based on ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality. Liberal principles continue to offer an antidote to the strengthening of authoritarian tendencies, nationalistic sentiments, xenophobia and non-democratic regimes in general.
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