The era of neoliberal ascendency sadly now lies in the past.
The historically unparalleled gains in living standards, global equality and human wellbeing following the liberalisation of the 1980s and 1990s now risk being reversed.
Presidents Xi and Trump and Prime Minister Modi all have more nationalist, interventionist, and even authoritarian tendencies than the great reformers of the previous generation.
In New Zealand, statism began to return under Helen Clark, but accelerated under John Key with the explosion of the corporate-welfare machine and his failure to scrap Working for Families.
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Some in the Ardern circle now believe liberalisation was wrong, with the Prime Minister herself owning up to being inspired by Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics and others having waded through Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century and Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level.
Increasing numbers of younger left-wing activists, with no memory of the Berlin Wall, unembarrassedly support economic and political ideologies responsible for the murder or death by starvation of an estimated 100 million people last century.
Intimately linked to economic liberalisation in the 1980s and 1990s was social liberalisation. Government was to get out of both the boardroom and the bedroom.
National's betrayal of the boardroom principle was complete when no less than Key himself conducted commercial negotiations as Prime Minister with the likes of Warner Bros, SkyCity casino and Rio Tinto.
To Key's credit, though, he maintained a hokey-dokey, smile-and-wave, socially liberal form of centre-right politics.
Over the last 15 years, there have been increased attempts to infiltrate the National Party by people whose Christian beliefs are not typical Anglicanism, Catholicism, Presbyterianism or Methodism but altogether more reactionary.
The party has not been naive, and has successfully blocked entry by those with backgrounds in the old South African Conservative Party, which regarded that country's National Party as insufficiently pro-apartheid.
Still, there has been a perceptible shift within National away from the liberals of the 1980s and 1990s to those who are far more comfortable with government interference in both commercial and personal behaviour.
Perhaps the starkest example was the replacement in 2017 of uber-liberal Maurice Williamson — he of the "big, gay rainbow" speech — by then 26-year-old arch-conservative Simeon Brown, who founded the University of Auckland's anti-abortion club as a 19-year-old undergraduate.
Brown is part of a growing faction within National's caucus that is primarily concerned about social issues rather than economics. Christopher Luxon has work to do if he does not want to be typecast as a new recruit.
In this context, Act leader David Seymour spies an opportunity to target those National voters worried about its tilt away from market liberalism towards social conservatism.
National is almost certain to again indicate to its supporters in Epsom that they should vote for Seymour rather than its candidate, Paul Goldsmith, who is much more interested in being Minister of Finance this time next year than an electorate MP.
That means a party vote for Act anywhere else in the country will therefore help rather than hinder the defeat of the Ardern-Peters regime.
Already, one or two polls have indicated Act has enough support to see a second MP, deputy leader Beth Houlbrooke, enter Parliament next year.
Since its poor showing in 2017, Act has been operating under the assumption that big government will always be upsetting someone, somewhere. It has targeted firearms owners angry about the details of the post-Christchurch buy-back scheme; vapers annoyed by plans for greater regulation; liberals worried about the decline of free speech in the public sphere, including most disgracefully the universities; and immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan opposed to the Chinese Communist Party, to which Labour and National pay regular homage.
Over the next year, Seymour will highlight other areas where Parliament is divided 119-1.
He talks of "Red October", when last year Act was the only party to vote against the Child Poverty Reduction Bill, which it says focuses almost entirely on income redistribution; the Commerce Commission Amendment Bill, which it argues allows bureaucrats to harass whole industries at whim; and the Pay Equity Bill, which it worries could allow the courts to choose how much workers in whole industries are paid.
The rural community will also be targeted given the failure of both Labour and National governments to fix the Resource Management Act, and the willingness of both to impose new climate-change costs upon them, as evidenced by National's support for the Zero Carbon Bill.
Seymour's challenge for 2020 is to show how this grab-bag of issues form a consistent whole, fitting in with Act's themes of freedom, liberalism and the pioneer spirit that brought everyone or their forebears to New Zealand in the first place.
More controversially internally, he has also sought to appeal to a younger demographic — who have never heard of Sir Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, Ruth Richardson and even Rodney Hide — with stunts like Dancing with the Stars.
This has earned him well-deserved mocking from the business community, as evidenced by some of the comments to this year's Herald Mood of the Boardroom survey, but Seymour believes he had little choice.
Sir Roger, after all, did not spend the 1980s telling New Zealand that Sir Arnold Nordmeyer had got everything right 30 years earlier, but inspired a new generation of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers who knew nothing of the 1958 Budget.
While Dancing with the Stars has succeeded with some younger voters, Seymour is aware he has some work to do with the Auckland business community and farmers in particular.
He will need them to concede that business must be weaned off corporate welfare and accept the case for a flat tax and deregulation.
Having found himself leader of a failing party five years ago, aged just 31, Seymour has done well keeping it viable all on his own. By the election campaign he will have been in the job for six years and already have been through the rigours of 2017 as leader. He will also likely have an accomplished record as a legislator with his euthanasia bill.
If he does bring in a colleague or two in with him next year, that will be to his enormous credit. And New Zealand will be the better for having a Parliament with at least one genuinely liberal voice.
- Matthew Hooton is an Auckland based public relation consultant and lobbyist.