The Economist’s liberalism is often framed as the politics of human rights and individual freedom, but its origins lie just as much in a fear of the masses and democracy.
Many socialists have ambivalent feelings about liberalism. Depending on the day, they may see liberals as well-meaning but naive centrists, parroting nice-sounding platitudes but unwilling to mount a serious challenge to the unjust status quo.
The critique of liberalism is all important but at the same time the world of the Economist doesn’t really define or exhaust the category. If liberalism defined and liberalism in practice diverge then we must study the history there with care and not confuse the two, even if the ‘liberals in practice’ do confuse the two.
Lenin hated liberalism, not far behind Marx, but that was another trap. In any case the left has to move to both critique and transcend liberalism. But do they have any prospect of doing so?
This is a fascinating article but the larger history of liberalism, and simple democracy is needed. The left will move to create something worse with the incomplete models of marxism.
Just a caution near an interesting idea for a book on liberalism…
Liberalism is often presented as a loose set of principles like reason, freedom, and the rule of law. But over almost two centuries, the Economist has provided a window into the dominant strand of liberalism in action — with imperial conquest and undemocratic regimes defended in the name of upholding “free trade.”
Liberalism has become decadent, and conservatism has become particularly vile. The only option for anyone who cares about freedom and decency is to get behind the socialist.
We speak with Nathan J. Robinson, founder of Current Affairs, about self-interest versus moral conviction, the cruelty of conservatism, and the cluelessness of liberalism.
The left is its own worst enemy and consistently ends in confusion because it is incapable of defining its own slogans or creating a sensible framework.
We have suggested over and the need for a constructive set of definitions of a new society and in addition have critiqued the way the stark contrast of liberal, usually capitalist, systems as against socialism is confusing everyone. The result is the confusion of democracy, bourgeois capitalist government and amnesia as to the source of the original democracies in question. Continue reading ” Liberalism remorphed as socialism, and vice versa…”
We need a new International, and something better than either the failing capitalism of the american monstrosity or the pseudo-communism of the failed chinese system.
The dilemma of the two fails to see (as with our democratic market neo-communism) that the traditional opposites are both wrong: our DMNC can remorph a liberal system into a communism, and a communism into a liberal system.
Even as it is pointed the point doesn’t seem to sink in that Trump, perhaps a faux fascist manque, is serving better as a force to undermine and degrade american democracy in the hidden global complot to destroy the liberal world. At every stage Trump acts to further this hidden ‘conspiracy’, explicit with Putin, and explicit with figures like Dugin…The mystery of Trump’s subservience here remains an unknown…