Until recently, progressives believed the retreat of liberal democracy after the end of the Cold War would be like water running uphill. “There is no coherent alternative to liberal democracy,” wrote Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History (1992). A better quote to describe large parts of the world as it is now came from George Orwell half a century ago in his long essay, Inside the Whale. “Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorship – an age in which freedom of thought will be at first a deadly sin and later on a meaningless abstraction.

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