On the practical level, western countries have to decide how hard a line to take when China threatens Taiwan, or Russia squeezes Georgia. How much of a fuss should we make about human rights?
It is too soon to answer these questions definitively. China and Russia once again pose an ideological challenge to the west. But authoritarian nationalism, backed by massive foreign reserves, may turn out to be simply a phase on the long march to liberal democracy. Or it may turn out to be something more durable – and Orwellian.FT