Blowin' in the Wind
THE SOURCE: “The Future of History” by Francis Fukuyama, in Foreign Affairs, Jan.–Feb. 2012.
In The End of History (1992), Francis Fukuyama famously argued that the collapse of Soviet communism marked the end of human ideological evolution. Liberal democracy had triumphed and would face no further significant challengers. He still thinks that’s true, but now he detects a different kind of challenge to liberal democracy: its own failure to respond to a changing world.
Technology and globalization are undermining the middle class, which is the foundation of liberal democracy, Fukuyama warns. While Americans enjoy the use of cell phones and other technological innovations, the financial rewards of economic change have accrued “disproportionately to the most talented and well-educated members of society.” Globalization is increasing economic inequality.
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