02 August, 2021

Fareedian Slips

A historian should incorporate uncomfortable facts in his argument. Zakaria avoids them.

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Fareedian Slips
This book is a sophisticated presentation of moderate American conservatism. It deals with the emergence and preservation of constitutional democracy and individual liberty. Its arguments are different from the vacuous tradition of latter-day Republicanism. Fareed Zakaria is a trained historian and political scientist. He believes in a natural connection between capitalism and democracy, and distinguishes between democracy (a term he uses interchangeably with populism and demagoguery) and constitutional liberalism. He calls for reflection on the pitfalls of democracy. And he points out that the socialisation of young men is a major challenge for ‘civilised’ societies.

For Zakaria, "liberal democracy" is the norm all societies must aspire to. Countries that moved furthest toward it followed the European pattern: "Capitalism and the rule of law first, and then democracy." His exemplars are South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Chile. This is astonishing. Chile’s elected regime was overthrown in 1973 in a bloody CIA-supported coup. Thailand has had a history of...

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