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The West's core values have long struck fear into the heart of the Russian president, driving him to fashion an entire worldview and self-identity based on the rejection of all things Western. The ultimate reactionary, Putin represents repression of the revolution that would have occurred if not for his wars and propaganda machine.
Hungary’s general election showed that voters are willing to back a leader who violates European norms if it serves their economic interests. The challenge for Viktor Orbán’s opponents is to devise economic and social policies that attract not only the growing middle class but also those left behind by Orbán’s agenda.
Liberalism needs a healthier relationship to time. Can the past become a foreign country without those who still live there being turned into foreigners in their own land? If the future is to be unmapped, then how do we persuade those who fear it, or mistrust us, to agree to venture into its wilds?
As the world enters a period of greater instability, its leaders can no longer ignore the need for a coordinated and humane response to all of those fleeing war and other desperate circumstances.
No one can read Vladimir Putin’s mind. But we can read the book that foretells the Russian leader’s imperialist foreign policy. Mikhail Yuriev’s 2006 utopian novel, The Third Empire: Russia as It Ought to Be, anticipates—with astonishing precision—Russia’s strategy of hybrid war and its recent military campaigns.
It should not be so surprising that the first major war in Europe in nearly 80 years has followed so soon along the path toward deglobalization and the decoupling of interdependence sparked by the populist backlash in the West and the rise of autocratic nationalism in Russia and China
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