End of History, Budding of Democracy
In Francis Fukuyama's new book, the author of the The End of History lays down the conditions required for a nation to become a democracy. He is both worried and optimistic about the future.
What's the Latest Development?
The author of The End of History has written a new book. Once a mid-level government employee, Francis Fukuyama set the political world on fire with his now-famous treatise on the triumph of liberal democracy as the world's accepted political ideology. Now, with The Origins of Political Order, he attempts to understand how countries, as he puts it, "get to Denmark". "Fukuyama is attempting to work out how states developed and why some became liberal democracies and others, notably China, opted for an authoritarian model. He argues that getting to Denmark relies on three things that have to be in harmony—a functioning state, the rule of law and accountable government."
What's the Big Idea?
While liberal democracy is the world's preferred political ideology, it remains vulnerable to decay. The creation of the European Union was meant to be an affirmation of a pan-European democracy, but as budget crises threaten to topple political leaders in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain, one wonders if the world's current political reality is so preferable. And even Fukuyama admits that China's authoritarian government suits its unique political situation rather well. Still, he remains optimistic about democracy's chances: "I do think there's this historical modernisation process, and by and large it's been very beneficial to people. But there are blips. History doesn't proceed in a linear way."
From computer hacking to biohacking, Dave Asprey has embarked on a quest to reverse the aging process.
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- He's now confident he'll live to at least 180 years old. "It turns out that those tools that make older people young make younger people kick ass," he says.
French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
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- French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
- Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
A new study estimated the untapped potential of wind energy across Europe.
- A new report calculated how much electricity Europe could generate if it built onshore wind farms on all of its exploitable land.
- The results indicated that European onshore wind farms could supply the whole world with electricity from now until 2050.
- Wind farms come with a few complications, but the researchers noted that their study was meant to highlight the untapped potential of the renewable energy source in Europe.