Why Liberalism Failed Reviews

“We begin a great conservative reaction. We attempt to roll back the Reformation in its political phases.”
– George Fitzhugh, 1863

Patrick Deneen’s new book Why Liberalism Failed has continued to cause a stir:

Fred Bauer:

“What if the anxieties, tensions, and ill feelings of contemporary politics were not a departure from liberalism but its culmination? That’s the central claim of Notre Dame political theorist Patrick J. Deneen’s bold and provocative new book, Why Liberalism Failed. By “liberalism,” Deneen does not mean merely the political program of the Left. Instead, he is referring to the broader liberal order conceived of by John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, John Dewey, and others: the quest for individual autonomy and the transformation of nature in order to realize individual ambitions. He claims that this order has led to socioeconomic hyper-stratification, political alienation, the evisceration of education, and ecological devastation. …”

Jerry D. Salyer:

“The capacity for self-criticism used to be a signature characteristic of the liberal mind, but clearly liberal introspection isn’t what it used to be. In looking for explanations for the 2016 election, outlets like the Huffington Post and National Public Radio are perfectly willing to consider Russian hackers, Alt-Right conspiracies, and for all I know albino Opus Dei operatives. What they are less willing to consider is the possibility that their defeat is their own fault, that bugs or even inherent flaws in liberal theory make radical disruptions like Trump and Brexit possible, maybe inevitable. To be fair, of course, the conservative establishment seems if anything more reluctant to learn anything from recent upheavals. Speeches by GOP stalwarts like John McCain suggest that such proponents of global democratic revolution would rather see perpetual rule by the Democratic Party than any widespread and earnest questioning of the liberal democratic creed. …”

Ross Douthat:

“Fourteen months ago, in the first flush of power, Steve Bannon gave an interview to Michael Wolff — beginning a relationship that would prove his undoing — in which he boasted about his plan to realign our politics. His nationalist-populist movement, he argued, would transform the G.O.P. into something truly new: a right-wing worker’s party that spent freely, “jacked up” infrastructure all over the country, and won “60 percent of the white vote” and “40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote” on its way to a 50-year majority. …”

David Brooks:

“Everybody agrees society is in a bad way, but what exactly is the main cause of the badness? Some people emphasize economic issues: The simultaneous concentration of wealth at the top and the stagnation in the middle has delegitimized the system. People like me emphasize cultural issues. If you have 60 years of radical individualism and ruthless meritocracy, you’re going to end up with a society that is atomized, distrustful and divided.

But some emphasize the intellectual. The people who designed our liberal democratic system made fundamental errors, which are now coming home to roost. Notre Dame political scientist Patrick Deneen falls into this camp. His new book, “Why Liberalism Failed,” is a challenge to those of us who want to revive the liberal democratic order. It will attract a cult following among those who are losing faith in the whole project. …”

I’m looking forward to diving into this.

At the present moment, I have another book to finish reading and reviewing first. It appears Patrick Deneen has summarized everything I have believed and said about liberalism for years now. In the United States, George Fitzhugh pioneered this Tory attack on liberalism in Sociology for the South, or, The Failure of Free Society and Cannibals All!, or Slaves Without Masters.

Note: Feeling inspired, I have changed the tagline of this site.

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7 Comments

  1. LIBERALISM IS A JEWISH RACKET.

    Most of the biggest promoters of liberalism and alienism are Jewish people, such as Jewish politicians (Schumer, Feinstein, Boxer) and Jewish mediocrats (Ju York Times, WaPo, Time, Newsweek, ABC, CBS, NBC).

    The biggest haters who hate culture, civilization and whites are Jewish (Tim Wise who promotes genocide of Whites, Schultz, Susan Sontag who called whites the cancer, etc).

    Joe Biden thanked his Jewish masters for promoting libbarbarianism, here:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/349155/joe-biden-attributes-social-liberalism-jewish-control-hollywood-and-social-media

    The biggest enemies of conservatives are Jewish. The worst hate towards conservatives comes from Judaists. For eg,, Jewish woman Sandra Bernhard advocated rape of Sarah Palin, Larry David, producer of Seinfeld, urinated on Jesus in a show and Barbara Lerner Spectre who wants more 3rd world garbage to invade EU.

  2. I am not sure if this really is about Liberalism because many of the present-day examples that Deneen gives as outcomes of Liberalism are also given by Brooks Adams in his “Law of Civilization and Decay” (1895) as happening in the post-republican Rome, and one can hardly think of the Roman Empire as being “liberal”….Brooks Adams sees these as a consequence of the successful centralization of the state, an achievement which opens the way for the society to move into the 2nd phase (of all civilizations) : the mercantile and rationalistic phase. This change is accompanied by breakdown of marriage/family unit and demographic decline, breakdown of loyalty bond and their replacement by contractual/mercantile agreements, changes in the status of woman, loss of manliness ( Romans solved this through immigration, by inducing barbarians into the army), loss of the traditional faith, etc….”Liberalism” is, from this point of view, an ideological rationalization. It is more about inventing reasons for what are deeper changes in the psychology of the people..one invents reasons for what he is inclined to do anyway because deep changes in the fabric of the social-life have occur once a powerful and centralized state has been established and people do not longer need family for protection and commerce becomes secure.

    If anyone here has read Brooks Adams’ book, please jump in.

    • I made a point to seek out every Brooks Adams book and I have ready them all. His books about international commerce helped laid the foundation for modern geopolitics. Brooks Adams should be required reading for the Alt Right.

  3. Brooks pretends nepotism is “ruthless meritocracy.” Go home to Israel, Brooks, this is our country, not yours.

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