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It is de rigueur to blame Donald Trump for all the world’s woes. But the upturning of the liberal international order is not solely the fault of the US president — even though he is keen to undermine it by raising trade barriers and attacking global institutions. The rot set in well before 2016.

Philip Stephens argues in his latest column that the collapse of Soviet communism created a big idea which is now being replaced with a bad one. The rules that defined the west were always imperfect, and there was insufficient redistribution of power, he argues. The old idea of fostering “responsible stakeholders” in China, India and Brazil now also looks naive.

What remains to be seen is whether Mr Trump is “as bad as it gets” as Philip puts it. Will he be replaced — in three or seven years — by someone who re-balances US foreign policy? Or will his successor continue on the same path? After all, Beijing is run by nationalists and Europe has its own nativists. Defenders of the rules-based order in power are hard to find.

China believes in fair trade too:
Liao Min, a Chinese academic, argues that balancing trade between the US and China should not be difficult if trade is based on comparative advantage. He argues that both nations should be working together to advance global structural reform.

The anti-slavery passover story:
Inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s recent troubles, Robert Shrimsley imagines a socialist Passover story where Pharaoh, a life-long opponent of forced labour, is smeared by Moses.

Reimagining the UK’s pension model: 
Martin Wolf argues that the row over pensions in Britain’s higher education sector is proof of why a structural rethink is needed. He argues for a new risk-sharing structure that includes employers, current employees and pensioners: a national collective defined contribution scheme.

Best of the rest

Red London: Labour is poised to take the capital — Will Heaven in The Spectator

What to say when someone tries to mansplain away the gender pay gap — Anoosh Chakelian in the New Statesman

How to Make Trade Peace With China — Martin Feldstein in the Wall Street Journal

The Good Friday agreement is 20 — and Britain can’t afford to forget it — Martin Kettle in the Guardian

Viktor Orban’s Perversion of Democracy in Hungary — New York Times editorial

What you’ve been saying

Barriers more insidious than overt misogyny — letter from Patricia Reilly

Researchers found that “barriers are no longer based on direct and overt hostility towards women. Instead, they are caused by deep-seated, possibly unconscious, biases about what it takes to perform at the top of financial firms: biases that disproportionally disadvantage women. These barriers are more subtle and therefore harder to identify and tackle than the overt misogyny of the past.” . . . Instead of pleading with us to be “more tender” with pale, stale males, those same men may do better to read the evidence and think about how they can help to fix the problem, while at the same time improving their companies’ bottom lines.

Comment from Daksh on The three legal paths to stop Brexit are blocked

Next I would like us to have a referendum on whether we would like to pay taxes: Yes or No. And I am sure No will win and the wish of the people will be implemented  to hell with the small details about where will the government get the money instead. 

I propose we #standupforfacebook instead — letter from Doaa Abdel-Motaal

I write to break the deafening silence of the vast majority of Facebook users who have benefited for years from the free service that it provides, but who are letting their favourite entertainment device be massacred by mainstream media and tech competitors. Let me remind everyone that joining Facebook is a choice, not an obligation. Over 1bn users have made that choice because Facebook has tapped into our profound need to find witnesses to our lives. The vast majority of Facebookers use the platform to broadcast everything from their private to their professional lives, and not always with a small circle of real friends, might I add, but often with circles that extend to colleagues and remote acquaintances as well. To now turn round and claim that we are all concerned about our privacy, and are shocked that Facebook let some app developers harness our data, is naive.

Today’s opinion

Jeremy Corbyn and a true socialist, anti-slavery passover story
Pharaoh, a life-long opponent of forced labour, is smeared by Moses

Emmanuel Macron’s artificial intelligence pitch risks falling short
The French president’s plan belongs to an outdated tradition of industrial policy

The case for reimagining the UK’s pension models
A risk-sharing structure should include employers, current employees and pensioners

The US should know that China believes in fair trade too
America should compete globally based on its own comparative advantage

FT View

FT View: London’s violent crime wave can be beaten back
New York and Glasgow provide useful lessons for the UK capital

FT View:
Lula’s prosecution shows nobody is above the law
Brazil’s anti-corruption purge should be celebrated, not decried

The Big Read

The Big Read: The Maltese connection with Iran sanctions busting An investigative reporter’s killing has shone new light on a shadowy deal she uncovered

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