The conflict between liberal democratic capitalism and state socialism dominated political life for most of this century. Now the political arena is changing radically. The problem is whether we can develop political ideas to make sense of those changes and to guide political action. State socialism is finished as a credible political idea. But liberal democracy is almost moribund, too, something most celebrants of the collapse of communism have failed to notice. In fact the collapse of communism and the stagnation of liberalism are connected. Liberal democracy derived its most powerful legitimation from the threat of ideological dictatorships; whatever its limitations it allowed citizens to criticize and to change their government. Auth...
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