This is how it ends.
Like the fall of the Soviet Union, the liberal democratic order collapsed noiselessly in an afternoon. Western democracies, unlike the USSR, might stagger on but they lack confidence and influence. Leaders and citizens no longer believe in their system and are turning inwards. The quasi-liberal democratic global order will gradually be subsumed by rules imposed by Beijing and its allies.
In any case the era of US world leadership is over. The new president might wield hard power but will carry little authority, even should he be interested in influencing events.
We are on the downward trajectory of one of the great human experiments. The USA was founded as an Enlightenment project: a human-centred, reason-based social order with institutions that restrain the powerful and protect individual rights. Continue reading