Several large liberal democracies are, to quote Lenin, “pregnant with a revolution.” Though all have centrist administrations, powerful anti-liberal forces from both the right and left, in parliament and outside, have built up their strength over the course of a decade. The leaders of these forces, poised to take control when elections allow them to test their popularity, base their policies and rhetoric on opposition to the liberal establishments that scorn them, on nationalism and a championing of the working and lower middle class majorities at a time of stagnant or falling wages.
In at least three liberal democracies—Italy, Spain and the United States—these anti-liberal forces are likely to enter government within around two years. Until then, the liberal administrations currently in power will need to reckon with the most brittle of atmospheres, manage a relentless attack on living standards and preside over greater hardship for the lower…
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