PHIL Fitzpatrick's recent article, The apathy and ennui of the Papua New Guinean people, resonated very strongly with me for a number of reasons.
I have come to believe that liberal democracy as we know it is not an end point in the development of human societies. Its recent triumphs over fascism and communism are not evidence of the end of history.
Rather, liberal democracy is yet another stage in a range of complex social, political and economic processes that have been happening for several millennia.
These have been characterised by the ebb and flow of "civilisation" (being the urge to establish an orderly, highly structured society governed by known laws) and "barbarism" (being the explicit rejection of such a society in preference for an essentially anarchical and highly fragmented collection of loosely affiliated communities of interest).