Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Globalization and climate change. AI and VR. Donald Trump and the Flat Earthers. The world is changing so fast that we can't get a grip on how we got here, let alone where we're headed. This is your weekly podcast for a world in flux. Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? Just what on Earth is going on?

Subscribe to the podcast now.


        
        

Aug 10, 2018

"Since the turn of the millennium, and particularly over the last decade, no fewer than twenty-five democracies have failed around the world, three of them in Europe (Russia, Turkey and Hungary)... Can the West regain its optimism? If the answer is no – and most of the portents are skewing the wrong way – liberal democracy will follow. If the next few years resemble the last, it is questionable whether Western democracy can take the strain. People have lost faith that their systems can deliver. More and more are looking backwards to a golden age that can never be regained. When a culture stops looking to the future, it loses a vital force. The search for Eden always ends in tears."

That's from The Retreat of Western Liberalism, a powerful, insightful and chilling book by Financial Times columnist, Edward Luce. Ben is with Eric Peters in Calgary to get to the bottom of the acclaimed bestseller.

About the Book

In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times chief US columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of America's relative decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy - of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom.

Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's economic losers, and complacency about our system's durability - attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall. "We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Unless the West can rekindle an economy that produces gains for the majority of its people, its political liberties may be doomed. The West's faith in history teaches us to take democracy for granted. Reality tells us something troublingly different. Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the literature and economic analysis, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration, the rise of European populism, and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years."

Learn more about The Retreat of Western Liberalism.