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Mark Triffitt

AUSTRALIA’S SECOND CHANCE by George Megalogenis & BALANCING ACT by George Megalogenis

May 2016, no. 381

Compared to the epic narratives of America and Europe, our story can seem rather unglamorous. Australia's 'tyranny of distance' from the seismic events of world history induces a vague sense that Australians labour under a certain tyranny of irrelevance. Perhaps we don't look hard enough to appreciate what is unique about our past. Or is is that our innate sense of ...

If free markets promote themselves as the most effective and efficient way of creating and sharing prosperity, then growing inequality has emerged as one of their deepest failings in the early part of this century. After all, how ‘effective’ is having ninety-nine per cent of the world’s wealth go to less than one per cent of its population? Is it ‘effi ...

Forget the cliché about a week being a long time in politics. Two decades in this super-speed, globalised age is more than enough time, it seems, for even the ‘best’ political system to go pear-shaped.

A growing number of books in recent times have focused on the current travails of Western-style liberal democracy. Its litany of dysfunctions includes corrosive money politics, policy gridlock, and growing citizen uninterest. But it is Francis Fukuyama’s new book that best symbolises the current Zeitgeist of dashed hopes concerning the resilience of the West’s political system.

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Just over twenty years ago, an academic tome captured the West’s imagination. The End of History and the Last Man (1992) by Francis Fukuyama followed fast on the heels of the collapse of communism. Giving voice to the triumphalism and hope of the times, it became an immediate bestseller. History, Fukuyama argued, was over. This was because the West had won the long ideological battle over which configuration of political economy could best manage the twenty-first century, and beyond. Western-style free markets and liberal democracy would now spread across the world, creating stability and opportunity for all in their wake.

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