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  1. #1
    Array Junon's Avatar
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    Liberal World Order, R.I.P. (OP)


    Salaam

    An establishment take on why the Liberal International order is declining, an interesting read nevertheless.

    Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

    America’s decision to abandon the global system it helped build, and then preserve for more than seven decades, marks a turning point, because others lack either the interest or the means to sustain it. The result will be a world that is less free, less prosperous, and less peaceful, for Americans and others alike.

    NEW DELHI – After a run of nearly one thousand years, quipped the French philosopher and writer Voltaire, the fading Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Today, some two and a half centuries later, the problem, to paraphrase Voltaire, is that the fading liberal world order is neither liberal nor worldwide nor orderly.

    The United States, working closely with the United Kingdom and others, established the liberal world order in the wake of World War II. The goal was to ensure that the conditions that had led to two world wars in 30 years would never again arise.

    To that end, the democratic countries set out to create an international system that was liberal in the sense that it was to be based on the rule of law and respect for countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. Human rights were to be protected. All this was to be applied to the entire planet; at the same time, participation was open to all and voluntary. Institutions were built to promote peace (the United Nations), economic development (the World Bank) and trade and investment (the International Monetary Fund and what years later became the World Trade Organization).

    All this and more was backed by the economic and military might of the US, a network of alliances across Europe and Asia, and nuclear weapons, which served to deter aggression. The liberal world order was thus based not just on ideals embraced by democracies, but also on hard power. None of this was lost on the decidedly illiberal Soviet Union, which had a fundamentally different notion of what constituted order in Europe and around the world.

    The liberal world order appeared to be more robust than ever with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. But today, a quarter-century later, its future is in doubt. Indeed, its three components – liberalism, universality, and the preservation of order itself – are being challenged as never before in its 70-year history.

    Liberalism is in retreat. Democracies are feeling the effects of growing populism. Parties of the political extremes have gained ground in Europe. The vote in the United Kingdom in favor of leaving the EU attested to the loss of elite influence. Even the US is experiencing unprecedented attacks from its own president on the country’s media, courts, and law-enforcement institutions. Authoritarian systems, including China, Russia, and Turkey, have become even more top-heavy. Countries such as Hungary and Poland seem uninterested in the fate of their young democracies.

    It is increasingly difficult to speak of the world as if it were whole. We are seeing the emergence of regional orders – or, most pronounced in the Middle East, disorders – each with its own characteristics. Attempts to build global frameworks are failing. Protectionism is on the rise; the latest round of global trade talks never came to fruition. There are few rules governing the use of cyberspace.

    At the same time, great power rivalry is returning. Russia violated the most basic norm of international relations when it used armed force to change borders in Europe, and it violated US sovereignty through its efforts to influence the 2016 election. North Korea has flouted the strong international consensus against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The world has stood by as humanitarian nightmares play out in Syria and Yemen, doing little at the UN or elsewhere in response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. Venezuela is a failing state. One in every hundred people in the world today is either a refugee or internally displaced.

    There are several reasons why all this is happening, and why now. The rise of populism is in part a response to stagnating incomes and job loss, owing mostly to new technologies but widely attributed to imports and immigrants. Nationalism is a tool increasingly used by leaders to bolster their authority, especially amid difficult economic and political conditions. And global institutions have failed to adapt to new power balances and technologies.

    But the weakening of the liberal world order is due, more than anything else, to the changed attitude of the US. Under President Donald Trump, the US decided against joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. It has threatened to leave the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. It has unilaterally introduced steel and aluminum tariffs, relying on a justification (national security) that others could use, in the process placing the world at risk of a trade war. It has raised questions about its commitment to NATO and other alliance relationships. And it rarely speaks about democracy or human rights. “America First” and the liberal world order seem incompatible.

    My point is not to single out the US for criticism. Today’s other major powers, including the EU, Russia, China, India, and Japan, could be criticized for what they are doing, not doing, or both. But the US is not just another country. It was the principal architect of the liberal world order and its principal backer. It was also a principal beneficiary.

    America’s decision to abandon the role it has played for more than seven decades thus marks a turning point. The liberal world order cannot survive on its own, because others lack either the interest or the means to sustain it. The result will be a world that is less free, less prosperous, and less peaceful, for Americans and others alike.

    https://www.project-syndicate.org/co...-haass-2018-03
    Last edited by Junon; 03-30-2018 at 10:37 PM.

  2. #81
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    Re: Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

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    Salaam

    Another update.

    The failure of the neo-liberal order


    Prof. Stephen Walt observes, contra Fukuyama, that history didn't end in 1989:

    As a professor of international affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Stephen Walt has a front row seat to the discussions, debates, and human types that dominate U.S. foreign policy. His assessment is bleak. With the leading lights of both parties wedded to the consensus that he calls “liberal hegemony,” the world’s predicted embrace of democratic capitalism and peaceful relations has not materialized. Instead, liberal hegemony has yielded long and inconclusive wars in the Middle East, regime change operations that have led to failed states in Libya and Yemen, U.S. military spending that dwarfs that of the rest of the world, resentment and passive resistance from our ostensible allies, along with increasing hostility from Russia and China.

    In short, Walt makes a persuasive case that liberal hegemony is not succeeding, even on its own terms....

    Walt details the practice of liberal hegemony since the end of the cold war, when the United States found itself in the position of being the “sole superpower.” He explains that “the pursuit of liberal hegemony involved (1) preserving U.S. primacy, especially in the military sphere; (2) expanding the U.S. sphere of influence; and (3) promoting liberal norms of democracy and human rights.”

    This approach continued through the Clinton, Bush, and Obama presidencies, in spite of their superficial differences. Indeed, the bipartisan hostility to Trump shows how much consensus on foreign policy prevailed before his election, in spite of the heated debate over the Iraq War in the mid-2000s.

    The early fruits of liberal hegemony include the ill-fated Somalia mission and the later intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo. But most infamously, liberal hegemony provided justification for the Iraq War and contributed to the never-ending Afghanistan campaign.

    In both cases, liberal hegemony did not counsel limited punitive expeditions, nor would it conceive of classifying certain areas of the world as ungovernable “shitholes” that needed to be cordoned off and avoided. Instead, we would stay until these countries were stable democracies—100 years if need be. As George W. Bush ambitiously put the matter in his second inaugural address, “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.

    The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”

    One legitimate criticism of this strategy, for which we have real time confirmation, is that in addition to not achieving results in places like Iraq, Somalia, and Libya, these expansive aims have left little reserve for dealing with a genuine emerging competitor: China. Indeed, far from being prepared and equipped to counter a rising China, the NATO expansion counseled by liberal hegemony has driven the otherwise-declining power of Russia into China’s arms, while, at the same time, short-sighted free trade policies have expanded China’s economy while deindustrializing our own.
    Liberal hegemony has become simply another name for rule by neoclown. And since the neoclown objectives have remained essentially unchanged since Trotsky advocated world revolution, liberal hegemony will never accomplish its stated goals because it's not even working towards them. So, the important conclusion is not that liberal hegemony HAS NOT worked as advertised, it is that it CANNOT POSSIBLY do so.

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2019/09/t...ral-order.html

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    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

    Salaam

    Another update

    The fall of the neoliberal order

    The demoralization of Europe is complete with a declaration by the President of France concerning the end of Western hegemony.

    The international order is being shaken in an unprecedented manner, above all with, if I may say so, by the great upheaval that is undoubtedly taking place for the first time in our history, in almost every field and with a profoundly historic magnitude. The first thing we observe is a major transformation, a geopolitical and strategic re-composition. We are undoubtedly experiencing the end of Western hegemony over the world.

    We were accustomed to an international order which, since the 18th century, rested on a Western hegemony, mostly French in the 18th century, by the inspiration of the Enlightenment; then mostly British in the 19th century thanks to the Industrial Revolution and, finally, mostly American in the 20th century thanks to the two great conflicts and the economic and political domination of this power. Things change. And they are now deeply shaken by the mistakes of Westerners in certain crises, by the choices that have been made by Americans for several years which did not start with this administration, but which lead to revisiting certain implications in conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, and to rethinking a deep, diplomatic and military strategy, and sometimes elements of solidarity that we thought were intangible for eternity, even if we had constituted together in geopolitical moments that have changed.

    And then there is the emergence of new powers whose impact we have probably underestimated for a long time. China is at the forefront, but also the Russian strategy, which has, it must be said, been pursued more successfully in recent years. I will come back to that. India that is emerging, these new economies that are also becoming powers not only economic but political and that think themselves, as some have written, as real “civilizational states” which now come not only to shake up our international order but who also come to weigh in on the economic order and to rethink the political order and the political imagination that goes with it, with much dynamism and much more inspiration than we have.

    Look at India, Russia and China. They have a much stronger political inspiration than Europeans today. They think about our planet with a true logic, a true philosophy, an imagination that we’ve lost a little bit.
    This is the result of the so-called Enlightenment gradually eroding the foundations of civilization. Western civilization ebbs and flows with Christianity because Christianity is the spiritual and intellectual barrier that separates truth from untruth. It should be no surprise that a post-Christian West has not only divorced itself from truth and reality, but in doing so, has lost its historical power and influence.

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/

  5. #83
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    Re: Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

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  6. #84
    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

    Salaam

    Liberals, have to hand it to them, they are the masters of subversion.



    How American Liberalism is Co-Opting Islam

    Rather than attack directly, it's transforming the faith into something more individualistic and materialistic.


    A persistent refrain of conservatives and liberal hawks has been that liberals and leftists are soft on Islam. This theme dominated Nick Cohen’s What’s Left, Andrew Anthony’s The Fall-Out, Paul Berman’s Flight of the Intellectuals, and much of the late life of Christopher Hitchens.

    There is, of course, a great deal of truth to that contention. It is unimaginable that if the pope threatened a novelist with death for blaspheming against Christ, leftists would oppose the author, even though some did, and still do, in the case of Salman Rushdie.

    It is unimaginable that if Christian radicals broke into the offices of a magazine and massacred its staff for the crime of depicting their God in an irreverent manner, liberals would condemn the journalists, even though some did in the case of Charlie Hebdo. It is unimaginable that if Serbian Orthodox terrorists bombed U.S. and European cities, progressives would blame Western foreign policy, even though some have in the case of al-Qaeda and ISIS. A clear tendency towards excusing or rationalizing negative phenomena inspired by Islamically derived beliefs has marked liberals and leftists who have tended to see Muslims as innocent victims of Western imperialism and nativism.

    Still, I have noticed an interesting irony, at least in the United States. While those conservatives and liberal hawks denounce mainstream society for outwardly celebrating conservative Islam, they ignore its subtle subversion of Islamic tenets, the manner in which it pays cloying respect to the symbolism of Islam while undermining its significance.

    Here is a golden example. The magazine Sports Illustrated publishes, for some reason, a “swimsuit issue” filled with bikini models. This year’s issue featured a young Muslim model in a “burkini,” which ensured that both her body and her hair were covered. Reaction was hostile from some quarters. The conservative Christian Matt Walsh decried progressive hypocrisy, writing:

    …this is the maneuver leftists have pulled, heaping unabated scorn on conservative Christians, sneering at their modesty and condemning their adherence to traditional gender roles, even while saluting the hijab as a symbol of self-expression and personal liberation….
    Yet this “salute” was superficial at best. While the model might have covered up, she was still lazing in the surf, her hands behind her head, as her swimsuit hugged her contours. To be clear, I am not proposing that there was any intent on the part of Sports Illustrated—and still less on the part of the model—to subvert the traditional significance of Islamic dress. But it still seems obvious that drawing attention to womanly curves undercuts the intended modesty of the hijab.

    The accidental subversive genius of American liberalism has been in presenting the hijab not as a symbol of faith but as a symbol of choice. Right-wing critics resent this because, of course, the hijab is often imposed on people rather than being chosen. By encouraging Muslims to defend traditional dress on the grounds of choice, though, liberals and leftists have encouraged them to internalize individualistic standards. The hijab becomes less of a religious symbol, virtuously accepted according to God’s will, than an aspect of one’s personal identity, which one is free to shape and exhibit according to one’s wishes.

    This is why the New York Times was able publish a column called “How to be a Hoejabi.” This peculiar article, from 2018, by a young Muslim woman, argued:

    …the term “hoejabi” (not my coinage) refers to women who see themselves at the crossroads of being “hoes” and “hijabis.” But deeper than that, it mocks all of the negative implications that come with “hoe,” all of the negative implications that come with “hijabi,” and all of the ways that people who are not us try to define our sexualities for us.

    Of course, the idea that the individual has the sovereign right to define their sexuality is more religiously progressive than the act of wearing a headscarf is religiously conservative.

    The news presenter Noor Tagoudi’s 2016 Playboy interview was another interesting case. Playboy, of course, is a lot more famous for featuring women with naked breasts than veiled hair, but Tagoudi’s message was far less out of place than one might have imagined. She praised the variety of individual fulfillment rather than any kind of religious norm: live your life as your truest self and encourage others to do the same!

    One need not homogenize diverse forms of Islamic belief to suggest that this kind of relativism is very new and very American. A Muslim hijabi and an atheist drag queen—what is the difference so long as they are living life as their truest selves?

    This concern for individual choice and the individual identity is extended to others. More American Muslims support gay marriage than American Christians. Ilhan Omar, who some conservatives comically believe is some kind of radical Salafi, took a stand this year on behalf of transgendered competitors in sports. Granted, American Muslims are bound to be more liberal than European Muslims because they tend to have originated from the educated middle classes, but America’s power as an engine of secularization remains incredible to behold.

    It might sound outrageously presumptuous to say these things of a faith that is not my own but Muslims have said them before. In her essay on “Hijab Culture in the American Muslim Context,” Butheina Hamdah wrote:

    It seems that for the hijab to comfortably sit within the public square and in order to “qualify” for inclusion in the sphere of what constitutes grounds for public reason, it has to be secularized and represent something other than its essential meaning.

    She continued:

    Perhaps this is what distinguishes American secular-liberalism from European secularism, particularly French secularism/laïcité: rather than a ban on certain forms of hijab in the public sphere, what occurs is a recalibration of its meaning to align with public consensus in the US – through individual autonomy or “right to self-expression.”

    This cultural “recalibration” could turn out to be a far more powerful liberalizing force than state intervention. Repression, real or imagined, tends to unify people around that which is or appears to be being repressed. Absorbing it into the mainstream, though, leaves little to unite around.

    As someone who has criticized dogmatic, totalistic forms of Islam, it might seem unfair for me to spin around and say that these liberal manifestations of the faith are somehow areligious (by which I do not mean the individuals themselves, whose hearts I have no window into, but their public practice). Am I promoting an Islamified “no true Scotsman” fallacy?

    Yet Muslims are not alone in being subjected to this tendency. American liberal capitalism has a unique ability to individualize and materialize all structures of belief that claim to have objective transcendent meaning. Nowhere else could the “prosperity gospel” of Joel Osteen or the hyper-progressive pro-sex Christianity of Nadia Bolz-Weber have emerged. That it has done so much to liberalize perhaps the world’s most creedal, anti-modern faith speaks to the astonishing scale of its power. A thousand Christopher Hitchenses hammering out columns on the cruelty and irrationality of faith could not in their wildest dreams have hoped to achieve so much.

    https://www.theamericanconservative....-opting-islam/



    Related.

    Last edited by Junon; 09-23-2019 at 10:25 PM.

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  8. #85
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    Re: Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

    Salaam

    Another update





    The Sources of the West’s Decline

    The growing problems in the Transatlantic community long precede the Trump Administration, Brexit, and the rise of populist movements.


    Only five years ago, the general consensus among U.S. and European policy wonks was that, notwithstanding occasional glitches, the so-called liberal international order would remain the dominant global paradigm. For decades, the cognoscenti had assumed that export-driven modernization would eventually transform the likes of communist China into a mega-scale Japan, and that Russia, though authoritarian, would nonetheless adhere—at least in Europe—to the rules-based order. In hindsight it doesn’t really matter whether we fell victim to our own wishful thinking or refused to admit what was in front of us all the time—namely, a brief pause in great power competition followed by two great powers intent on revising the international order, in terms of both its principles and its geostrategic fault lines.

    We finally awoke to the geostrategic dimension of the ongoing rivalry when Russia seized Crimea and stoked a war in eastern Ukraine, and when China militarized the South China Sea by deploying military assets on its artificial islands. But the West has yet to fully grasp the realities of the system’s overall transformation, and especially its emerging axiology. The reason for the latter is not a lack of data points, but rather our inability to own up to the ideological shift underway within our own culture.

    At the geostrategic level, the state of global affairs today is defined by two principal trends: the growing assertiveness of Russia and China, the two principal revisionist states; and the accelerating realignment of states worldwide in response to this rising pressure. More importantly, this challenge to the West runs in parallel with the apparent determination on the part of China to supplant democratic governance with a system built around authoritarianism, framed around a party elite. And for the first time the West seems too divided to launch a coherent response to this ideological pressure from abroad.

    On paper, the West stands head-and-shoulders above any real and potential peer-competitors according to any reasonable economic measure. Judging by the numbers alone, the West should be able to dominate its adversaries: The GDP of the European Union totals about $17 trillion (all figures from World Bank, 2017), and that of the United States, around $19 trillion (as opposed to $12 trillion for China and $1.5 trillion for Russia).

    Likewise, given the combined EU population of roughly 512 million and the United States of close to 330 million (not counting the economic resources and population of our principal allies in Asia—Japan, for example, has a GDP of close to $5 trillion and a population of more than 126 million), Western democracies should be uniquely positioned to sustain their supremacy into the foreseeable future. And there are other geostrategic advantages that have accrued to the democratic world: Europe’s key position as the doorway to Eurasia, the U.S. status as a “continental island” advantageously positioned to project power in the Pacific and the Atlantic, with alliances, partnerships, and forward military deployments to match.

    In short, the democratic world does not have a shortage of usable power, whether one views it in terms of economics, population, or geography. And while it is true that we have made our situation worse by offshoring our supply chain to Asia and, most importantly, allowing the Chinese to acquire, whether legitimately or by theft or extortion, some of our most valuable intellectual property and technology, Beijing’s growing economic and financial muscle is no match for the combined heft of the West.

    The real trouble for the West, rather, is what has been happening within our own societies. Internal changes have made us more vulnerable than any economic calculus would indicate. For the first time since the end of World War II, the so-called declinists may be onto something fundamental when they argue that the West’s heyday may be a thing of the past. The problem is not the economy or technology, but the centrifugal forces rising within the Transatlantic alliance: in short, the progressive civilizational fracturing and decomposition, fed by the growing disconnect between political and cultural elites and the publics across the two continents. Alongside this is an even more insidious trend of fragmenting national cultures and the concomitant debasement of the idea of citizenship, the latter increasingly defined almost exclusively in terms of rights, with reciprocal obligations all but relegated to the proverbial dustbin of history.

    The growing disunity of the West, exacerbated by tensions caused by the rejection by some in the Transatlantic community of a historical and cultural narrative that once inspired pride and admiration, both across state lines and internally, is now arguably the key national security challenge confronting us. It is this deepening sense of self-doubt that has made it all but impossible for the United States and its European allies to move beyond personal acrimony and articulate a strategically coherent common response to the devolving international power structure.

    The problem runs deeper than individual leaders or governments. We are at an ideological inflection point within the Transatlantic community because of trends that have been building up over decades. Both in the United States and in Europe, we are now subject to the added stress of a “take no prisoners” politics in which the goal is not so much to win the argument as to annihilate one’s opponent.

    The re-engineering of the Western cultural narrative over the past 50 years, first in our educational systems and media, and now within politics writ large, has effectively deconstructed the foundations of our shared Transatlantic civilization. In America—and increasingly also in Europe—colleges and universities produce cohorts of indoctrinated political activists with little or no knowledge of the foundational texts of our political tradition, the greatest works of Western literature, or the most enduring political debates that have shaped the Western democratic tradition.

    That heritage carried the West to victory through cataclysmic world wars and laid the foundations for the seven decades of peace and prosperity that followed.

    Today the very bedrock of the Western political tradition is under assault. In addition, for at least three decades immigration policies across the West have shifted away from acculturating newcomers to the now regnant multiculturalist ideology, which has resulted in unintegrated “suspended communities.” In the process, in a growing number of democracies the larger national identity, which was historically tied to the overarching Western heritage, has been subsumed under ethnic and religious group identities.

    We are not quite there yet, but once the sense of belonging to a larger shared Western cultural community has been abolished, we will have reached the tipping point: The Transatlantic alliance that has preserved, protected, and promoted democracy since 1945 will be effectively undone, regardless of whether or not NATO continues to exist.

    The cultural unmooring of the West that is now well underway is the result of more than a misguided immigration policy; rather, it flows from the larger ideological transformation of America and Europe. It is not my purpose here to recount the number of times I have encountered undergraduate students who have never read The Federalist Papers or have no idea why the Framers insisted on divided government as the backbone of our political system. Suffice it to say that members of the rising generation increasingly see democracy as either so abstract a concept that it seems to have little direct connection to their experiences or as obstacle to the necessary wholesale transformation, or even abolition, of our obsolescent political systems. According to The World Values Survey, today only about 30 percent of Americans born in the 1980s think it is “essential” to live in a democracy, compared to 75 percent of Americans born in the 1930s.

    In Europe, the number of youth who see democracy as “essential” was slightly over 40 percent.1 In a 2017 European Youth Study by Germany’s TUI Foundation (a sample of 6,000 respondents aged 16-26), only 30 percent of the young saw the European Union as an alliance of countries with common cultural values, only 18 percent of them attributed a common cultural basis to the European Union, and only 7 percent mentioned the value of religion and Christian culture. Meanwhile, a 2018 Gallup poll found that only 45 percent of young Americans view capitalism positively. This marked an astonishing 12-point drop in only two years, and a dramatic shift compared to 2010, when 68 percent of young Americans viewed capitalism positively.

    The same poll also showed that, when broken down by party affiliation, Democrats were more positive about socialism than capitalism. In short, the societies that are about to emerge from decades of the Gramscian neo-Marxist “long march” through the West’s cultural institutions may in fact have little or no grounding in the foundational principles of liberty, free speech, and a powerful citizenry.

    https://www.the-american-interest.co...wests-decline/

  9. #86
    cmb20's Avatar
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    Re: Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

    Western liberalism is an invention of the kgb during the cold war in the early 60's as part of their active measures/subversion program

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    Re: Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

    Salaam

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb20 View Post
    Western liberalism is an invention of the kgb during the cold war in the early 60's as part of their active measures/subversion program
    Not true liberalism has existed in some shape and form for centuries, though I agree it has changed over the centuries and merged with leftism during the 1960s.
    Last edited by Junon; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:21 AM.

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    Re: Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

    Quote Originally Posted by Junon View Post
    Salaam



    Not true liberalism has existed in some shape and form for 500 years, though I agree it has changed over the centuries and merged with leftism during the 1960s.
    Yes there were always elements of liberalism in the west but the type of liberalism we see today only became something mainstream in western society during the 60's

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    Re: Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb20 View Post
    Yes there were always elements of liberalism in the west but the type of liberalism we see today only became something mainstream in western society during the 60's
    This is due to the kgb


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