The Easy Persuasion

I have read in the newspapers lately that the scholarly journals have begun to experiment with a new procedural system of editorial acceptance.  For generations, article submissions have been made to the editors, who in turn sent the manuscripts out for peer review by specialists in the field.  Grants of academic tenure depend heavily on a record of scholarly publication, and so much is at stake for a young professor seeking to place an article in a prestigious journal.  Thus, it is hardly surprising that the slow and allegedly clubby old method of peer review is under attack by proponents of a plan to post the submitted manuscripts online and solicit comments or suggestions, not from specialists alone but from all and sundry in cyberspace, exactly as Wikipedia does.  The learned editors in their ivory towers will then act as final judges in the matter.

All sorts of theories have been advanced to explain why liberalism has triumphed to the degree that it has in the world.  According to many theorists, it is because the Rights of Man will not be denied.  Hegel thought that the universal struggle for recognition dictates that men are driven by their nature to insist on a realization of the dignity that human nature confers upon them.  Fuku­yama argued that liberal democracy, as an idea and indeed an ideal, cannot be improved upon, no matter the temporary setbacks it might encounter in the posthistorical future.


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