Putin's wrong, but so are liberals

Russian President Vladimir Putin's assertion last week that Western liberalism was obsolete provoked some strident rebuttals. A contemptuous silence might have been preferable, saving us the embarrassment of British politician Boris Johnson invoking "our values", or European Council president Donald Tusk claiming, against overwhelming evidence, that it was authoritarianism that was obsolete.

Even the Financial Times, to which Mr Putin confided his views, was reduced to childishly asserting that "while America is no longer the shining city on the hill it once seemed, the world's poor and oppressed still head overwhelmingly for the US and Western Europe" rather than Russia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2019, with the headline 'Putin's wrong, but so are liberals'. Print Edition | Subscribe