The Coming Men of Steel

In The End of the Liberal Tradition, Mark Movsesian warns us of the coming collapse of the liberal democracy.

At the time, some people wondered whether religious and cultural differences might stymie the global triumph of liberal democracy. Liberalism did not comport well with the assumptions of all the world’s civilizations, Samuel Huntington objected; it was myopic to think that the Western traditions of rights and limited government, which themselves had evolved out of Christian tradition, particularly Western Christian tradition, were universal. Right-thinking people dismissed Huntington as a know-nothing, but, twenty-five years later, his understanding has proven correct. Hardly anyone could look at world politics today and argue that liberal democracy is sweeping the globe.

In fact, a fascinating new paper in The Journal of Democracy suggests that liberal democracy is losing ground even at home, in the West. Political scientists Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk review data from recent World Values Surveys and observe some truly remarkable trends, especially among young people. Young people often reject the traditions of their elders; that’s nothing new. What they seem to be rejecting nowadays, though, in increasing numbers, is the tradition of liberalism itself.

For example, the percentage of people in Western Europe and the United States who say it is “essential” for them to live in a democratically-governed country has declined dramatically across generations. In the United States, less than one-third of millennials—defined as people born since 1980—say it is essential for them. Think about that: More than two-thirds of American young people say democratic government is not a crucial factor in where they would want to live.


Foa and Mounk’s paper is bracing. If the trends they identify continue, the West, including the United States, faces a political transformation unlike anything we have seen for generations. Liberal democracy doesn’t look like it’s about to collapse, they concede. But, then, neither did world communism, even right before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The coming authoritarians and dictators won’t be particularly sympathetic to Christianity – their focus is on themselves, as always. However, as a rule of thumb, they are unlikely to share the bone-deep hatred of Christian faith, morals, and culture that our current set of Masters have.

Better rule by the usual band of robbers, demagogues and petty thieves than intensely ideological, innately contemptuous bureaucrats, lawyers, and judicial monsters.

Putin is an improvement over either Lenin or Stalin, after all.

But don’t mistake Putin (…and his coming imitators…) as anything but a reasonably intelligent dictator, with precious little interest in liberty, justice, freedom, or righteousness.

And Putin does have a soft spot for Stalin, by the way.

What we need is a generation who work with the flow of history, not against it. Who believe in Divine Law and Divine Freedom, who understand that technology is increasing a friend of liberty, and that dictators are only fit for a people who won’t govern themselves.

Which is where the Ron Paul Curriculum comes in..


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