The Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge and John Mickelthwait argue that authoritarian East Asian governments have outperformed Western governments in their response to the stress test of the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, “In terms of geopolitics, the crisis has left the West weaker and Asia stronger.” As the public’s trust in government’s abilities has declined over the last fifty years, they point to excessive regulation stifling innovation and a lawyer-driven political culture versus science and engineering. “Leviathan overreached, promising more than it could deliver.”
Adrian Wooldridge is The Economist’s political editor and writes the “Bagehot” column on British life and politics. From 2000 to 2010 he was based in Washington, DC as bureau chief and “Lexington columnist” and served as West Coast correspondent, management correspondent and Britain correspondent. Wooldridge is the author of nine previous books, including “Capitalism in America” co-written with Alan Greenspan and six co-written with John Micklethwait. Wooldridge earned a doctorate in history from Oxford University, where he was a Fellow of All Souls College.