Garvin S. Kiernan, a junior economics major and brother of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, spoke at the AHI’s headquarters on Wednesday evening, 11 March, at the invitation of AHI co-founder James Bradfield. Mr. Kiernan, a student of both economics and Chinese at Hamilton College, presented on “Democratization in China.”
Mr. Kiernan explored in light of recent events in China Francis Fukayama’s Hegelian argument in The End of History and the Last Man (Free Press, 1992) that Mankind is progressing on course to the advancement of liberal, capitalist democracy around the globe. Mr. Kiernan discussed the Chinese Communist Party’s experiments with intraparty democracy and changes in the legal system that have advanced property rights. He argued that communist ideology in China is indeed becoming ever more “marginalized.” Reforms that were once a means to enhance legitimacy and stability, he predicted, will eventually be the party’s undoing. To the Western world, he counsels patience for the arrival of liberalism. Democracy will come to China, although perhaps not in the form that those in the United States will readily recognize.
Mr. Kiernan’s presentation was open to the public and was preceded by a dinner in his honor.