China confounds all that western liberals believed about the net | John Naughton

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Technology is being used by China to exercise ever greater control over their workers’ lives

Remember 1989 – when the Berlin Wall came crashing down and the Soviet Union began to implode? For many of us who were around at the time, those memories are inextricably mixed up with a remarkable essay by a young scholar named Francis Fukuyama that appeared in the journal the National Interest in the summer of that amazing year.

Its title, The End of History?, was compelling, even if the question mark rescued it – just – from the charge of hubris. “What we may be witnessing,” Fukuyama wrote, “is not just the end of the cold war, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalisation of western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”

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