With Putinism and Orbanism on the rise and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaching, there is renewed debate about the import of the events of 1989 and whether Russians, Poles and Hungarians really intended to embrace the full menu of Western liberal values. Francis Fukuyama is among those who have doubts today. “There’s now a lot of evidence that a lot of that turn toward liberal democracy in the early days, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, really was driven by a kind of educated, very pro-Western elite,” he told me recently. But less-educated people who lived outside large urban areas “didn’t really buy into liberalism, this idea that you could actually have a multiracial, multiethnic society where all these traditional communal values would have to give way to gay marriage and immigrants and all this stuff. That they definitely did not buy into.”
From a fascinating profile of George Soros in the New York Times.