Free Press Journal

The Retreat of Western Liberalism; Review


Book: The Retreat of Western Liberalism

Author: Edward Luce

Published by Little Brown

Pages: 234; Price: 599 Rupees

The writer has informed us that the world now has twenty-five fewer democracies than it did at the turn of the century.  And liberalism is a product of democracy. And western or not, liberal values are most important in human evolution. So this journey of western liberalism is fascinating.

A reputed writer of financial times Edward Luce is having a vantage point of view of this theatre because he is based in Washington DC, a recent epicenter of Trumpquack in American democracy.

Interestingly writer combined various forces like globalization, Economics, technology and politics which give shape to our understanding. Edward Luce was 21 when Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989 and as a young student of PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) at Oxford University, he rushes to witness the death of cold war and birth of new Unipolar world. Same time few miles away Putin as KGB agent in Dresden surveying his wrecked world, while Donald Trump launching carbon copy of Monopoly board game which is going to disappear without trace. Cut back to current scene now Trump is president of America and he is big admirer of Putin. So this changed scenario gives us direction where we are heading.

But this is not related to only politics. Therefore author gives us insight of changes that occur in world of economics and technology, which gives readers 360 views of reality. And unfortunately, in this reality show, we are objects who is supposed to overcome various challenges which is thrown to us by history.

Edward Luce as a student of history provides us an interesting insight how we arrived at this point of time and why it is more important to understand reality today than tomorrow.

How American democracy created Trump Presidency is not important but what are its consequences on global politics and global economy that is more important. Surprisingly Luce looks at East and India with all the hope but it is safe to say that this expectation is hopeless.

In Current affairs category this is very important book but as Luce is based in Washington DC he missed some important points which has far more disastrous consequences, like 2008 economic crisis which has a disastrous impact on global economy so it contributed more to disappearance of democracy and rise of autocracies.

If we consider Western liberals are brother of cute girl called western democracy than it is responsibility of western liberal brother to control its rogue cousin banker, whose misadventure cost them so dearly. And surprisingly author is not going in details of 2008 financial crisis which gives certain shape to our world. Apart from that, this is racy reading which gives wing view of world political theatre. Another glaring omission is Democracy of France and it’s role in the Unified European Union.

This is unmapped terrain so however faulty map, it is important.