Here's how "The End of History and the Last Man," the 1992 best seller of political philosopher and Stanford University professor Francis Fukuyama, ends: "Perhaps this very prospect of centuries of boredom at the end of history will serve to get history started once again." Clearly, the engines of history restarted and have been working at warp speed in the past three decades.
But rights groups and the opposition now fear a repeat of events in 2015. In that year, the Orban government introduced controversial "crisis" measures to stop an influx of migrants that are still in force today - despite the dramatic decline in the number of migrants and refugees coming to Hungary since then.
'Crisis' measures that risk becoming permanent:
Times like these test leaders. In a world full of fear and noise, a small group is called upon to take decisions that will determine the fate of their people. No one was elected on the basis of their program for dealing with a pandemic but their legacy will depend on how they handled this threat to all of us. Their decisions will either alleviate the damage or compound it.
By the end of the 1980s, some believed that this system of governance, which engendered economic success and political stability, had won the day against any alternative. Communist and fascist authoritarianism were discredited. A mood of triumphalism set in, breeding complacency. But things look a lot less rosy for liberal democrats today.
Four out of the five categories that make up the average score deteriorated. Civil liberties: down. Political culture: down. Functioning of government: down. Electoral processes and pluralism: you guessed it.
The only category that registered an uptick was "political participation", reflecting "a rising tide of popular protest" that "shook regimes run by despots and democrats alike".