This was an expansion that was not preordained by doctrine. It was preordained by the political philosophies of judges. Not all of the liberal scholars and lawyers who helped create modern First Amendment law are disappointed. Liberals also played a key role in creating modern campaign finance law in Buckley v. Valeo , the decision that struck down limits on political spending by individuals and was the basis for Citizens United , the decision that did away with similar limits for corporations and unions.
One plaintiff was Senator Eugene J. Johnson in the presidential primaries — from the left. Professor Neuborne, a former A. To Professor Seidman, cases like these were part of what he describes as a right-wing takeover of the First Amendment since the liberal victories in the years Chief Justice Earl Warren led the Supreme Court. Among its victims: proponents of campaign finance reform, opponents of cigarette addiction, the L. The right turn has been even more pronounced under Chief Justice Roberts.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a larger share of First Amendment cases concerning conservative speech than earlier courts had, according to the study prepared for The Times. And it has ruled in favor of conservative speech at a higher rate than liberal speech as compared to earlier courts. Louis; Andrew D. Martin, a political scientist at the University of Michigan and the dean of its College of Literature, Science and the Arts; and Kevin Quinn, a political scientist at the University of Michigan.
The court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren from to was almost exclusively concerned with cases concerning liberal speech. Of its 60 free-expression cases, only five, or about 8 percent, challenged the suppression of conservative speech. The proportion of challenges to restrictions on conservative speech has steadily increased.
It rose to 22 percent in the court led by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger from to ; to 42 percent in the court led by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist from to ; and to 65 percent in the Roberts court. The Roberts court does more than hear a larger proportion of cases concerning conservative expression. It is also far more likely than earlier courts to rule for conservative speech than for liberal speech. In past decades, broad coalitions of justices have often been receptive to First Amendment arguments.
The court has protected videos of animal cruelty , hateful protests at military funerals , violent video games and lies about military awards , often by lopsided margins. In dissent, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said that was a misuse of First Amendment principles. On Wednesday, in announcing the decision on public unions, Justice Samuel A.
Alito Jr. He suggested that the decision on public unions should have been unanimous. No one, we trust, would seriously argue that the First Amendment permits this. Follow Adam Liptak on Twitter: adamliptak. Starting in the late s, the party began to embrace a utopian ideology of diversity that in reality adopted the values of students, middle-class feminists, ethnic minorities, as well as east and west coast college-educated elites Stricherz For all the important advancement in terms of equality and non-discrimination, this liberal progressivism alienated more socially conservative voters who are predominantly white but also include many African-American and Latino communities some of whom voted for Trump.
But in the meantime the leading progressives in the Democratic Party ignored and even despised those who neither supported this politics nor benefitted from its effects — those for whom free trade, open borders, and cosmopolitan multiculturalism meant greater economic hardship and unnerving cultural comprises. This suggests that culture is as at least as fundamental as the economy. The other reason for the defeat of liberal progressivism is its approach to cultural questions. The other elements is the Latino, African-American, and even female vote that cannot be explained away by media bias or lack of education.
What these different groups are most of all bitter about is liberal indifference or even hostility to a sense of belonging and the enduring importance of family, community, and locality. Trump drew support not simply from moral cave-dwellers the xenophobes, racists and sexists who are much emboldened by his election but much more significantly from working- and middle-class people who feel forgotten and resent their exclusion from Washington politics.
The fundamental problem with liberalism is that it has taken an identitarian turn. Since the late s, it has tended to celebrate the diversity of difference at the expense of civic ties that bind people together above the divides of class, colour and creed. Already in the s and s, Christopher Lasch argued that liberalism was becoming increasingly associated with a move away from the family and mutual obligation towards a culture of narcissistic self-absorption and political retreat into the private sphere of subjective self-expression ; ; The s, far from witnessing a revival of civic spirit, saw the rise of yuppy greed and self-gratification whose social excesses was inextricably intertwined with their economic excesses.
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Even in narrowly electoral terms, identity liberalism has not worked very well. In the USA, the Clinton campaign appealed explicitly African-American, Latino, sexual minorities, and women voters but had nothing to say to white working class and those with strong religious convictions. As a result, as Ross Douthat has remarked,. As Douthat explains, identity liberalism has been so influential and endemic especially among the left precisely because it is partly a reaction against the abstract formalism of procedural liberalism — ground-rules of fairness instead of a substantive conception of justice.
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Neither strand of the liberal tradition will regain popular trust and win majority support, since. Until it finds them again, it will face tribalism within its coalition and Trumpism from without, and it will struggle to tame either Ibid. In short, what is at stake is a politics that can reach beyond either individual or group identity to articulate a vision of national renewal that can mobilise new alliances around a sense of shared belonging — the family, work, places people inhabit, and love of country. A significant element of the appeal of anti-establishment insurgencies is that mainstream parties failed to fulfil their promise about prosperity.
Across advanced economies, hard-working families are experiencing more and more economic uncertainty and cultural insecurity Lowles and Painter ; Bouvet Their incomes are declining, their jobs are disappearing, and their identity is under threat — from global capitalism and its aggressive liberal culture , from mass immigration, and from forces such as Islamic extremism and terrorism. All this is fuelling a popular revolt against the establishment. The standard analysis in terms of the political left or the political right does not explain this situation very convincingly.
Nor do standard left-wing or right-wing responses solve the profound structural problems precisely because they are part of the same liberal logic — more state or more market. Why are their incomes declining and their jobs becoming more precarious? Both the left and the right claim that this is the price we must pay for the advantages of globalisation and technological change. In other words, the benefits of progress are bigger than the costs. For example, industrial and manufacturing production — steel, chemicals, cars, etc.
In response to this supposed necessity of globalisation and technological change, the political left wants an interventionist state that raises taxes on the rich and the tech companies, and redistributes the revenue to the poor while also investing in more university education. The political right rejects all this because it believes that wealth will trickle down: if government is limited, public spending lower and taxes and regulation are minimal, the economy will boom and everyone will be better off.
The problem is that both are wrong in their analysis and in their policy solutions. Taxation and regulation has not solved inequality, as Thomas Piketty has demonstrated in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century Piketty Nor does the economy generate enough jobs that pay people enough to feed themselves and their families. Just look at the explosion in the number of people who depend on food stamps in the USA or on food banks in the UK — working families, not the unemployed. We have a rampant form of corporate finance capitalism that works for the 1 per cent, but not for the 99 per cent.
It pays exorbitant salaries to the top managements and huge bonuses, even when their businesses are not growing or going bust — as big banks like Lehman Brothers or multinational corporations such as Enron or WorldCom. Here are some examples that show what this means in reality. First of all, the ratio of highest to lowest incomes in companies has grown exponentially, from or to or even Secondly, the top 1 per cent in the USA own about 30 per cent of total national wealth, compared with less than 15 per cent forty years ago.
Thirdly, the poorest own nothing and they now have no support networks — no extended family, no community, and no local government to help. Fourthly, university education is no longer providing a route towards secure employment and prosperity, as wages for university graduate are declining and graduate-level jobs becoming precarious. A university degree still gives people a better chance, but it cannot change a more fundamental development: the middle class now earns a lower share of total national wealth than before, while the proportion that goes to the super-rich and the super-super-rich continues to grow.
Moreover, markets are not becoming more competitive. Instead, we are seeing more and more private monopolies or cartels that fix prices and extract rents — excess profits that go to the top managements and the institutional shareholders. For examples, intellectual property rights — patents, trademarks and copyrights — are now much more important but in the hands of a small number of big businesses. This has created huge profits for multinational corporations such as pharmaceuticals, hi-tech, biotechnology, and many entertainment companies, which now preserve their monopolies longer than ever.
It has also meant high prices for average consumers. In addition, other corporations benefit from what is called monopsony — the power to dictate prices to suppliers. As a result, businesses now have substantial market power, including those owning network portals and platforms Amazon, Facebook and Google as well as the largest banks. Moreover, finance now dominates capitalism in ways that are dangerous for markets and people.
The capitalist system so much depends on creating abstract wealth that it is increasingly unable to generate productive capital and genuine goods serving human needs. All this has led to an explosion of easy credit and thereby private debt. They make employment conditions worse for people by threatening to outsource unless workers agree to lower wages. Given these changes in the structure of capitalism, it is no surprise that corporate profits have increased as a portion of the total US economy, while wages have declined.
Those whose income derives directly or indirectly from profits — corporate executives, stock-market traders and shareholders — have done exceedingly well. Those dependent primarily on wages have not. In short, all the profit goes to the top of the economy while all the risk goes to the bottom of society. This system is neither economically nor politically viable. Popular alienation and anger is already fuelling the anti-establishment revolt, which liberal democracy is not mitigating but instead reinforcing — as the following sections suggest. There is a drift of liberal democracy toward effective oligarchy.
First of all, this concerns political parties that represent the vested interests of individual donors or small groups Mair ; Barnett An indicator for the emergence of cartel democracy is the nature of party funding and the influence of wealthy donors, especially in the United States — whether on policy, on the selection of candidates, or the wider direction of the party. The increasingly close ties between politics and business elites confirm that power in the modern state rests largely on clientelism, with private patronage dictating public policy without any effective parliamentary accountability or popular participation in the process Clapham ; Boggs Secondly, there is the tendency of democratic representatives to compose an interested party in itself.
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Typically, political parties in government tend to act on issues that concern their own factional support, or else issues that concern the factional support of their opponents, which they may address in order to outflank them. But governing parties prove relatively impotent when it comes to matters that concern the whole of national or international society such as the migration crisis, environmental degradation, poverty, infrastructural investment, or reforming cartel capitalism. This is because, even though the neglect of such issues is detrimental to each and every one, they are rarely the most immediate and pressing concern of any individual or group.
The rise of a new oligarchy is not confined to ruling parties but can extend to the entire executive. There is the exponential growth of executive legislation often rubber-stamped by a parliamentary majority beholden to executive writ. And then there is growing power of the judiciary relative to the legislature. The judiciary seems unable to resist the temptation to aggrandise its jurisdictional power and either to help the executive to impose uniform laws, with too little respect for circumstance, or else to compose these laws for themselves out of a questionable claim to be checking inflated governmental authority.
This is particularly true of the judiciary across Europe, including Britain and often in conjunction with the judicial activism of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights , and even more so in the USA with the Supreme Court, which in the Cooper v. Some British judges are now suggesting — with seeming contradiction — that it is the process of law itself that sovereignly authorises the sovereign power of the Crown Loughlin , US federal judges can exercise executive functions and deploy tax-raising powers — as in Kansas City where a federal judge took charge of the municipal school system and doubled local property taxes against the express will of residents who, according to state law, had to be consulted and voted no.
And where the action of judges provides a check on inflated governmental power, it can unwittingly foster a litigious culture that privileges the powerful and wealthy and undermines equal access to justice. It does so in the face of circumstances, which could not be anticipated by that mandate and which the electorate cannot vote on. Arguably, this represents an oligarchic defence of the bases of oligarchic control — whether an emergency response to a threat or an opportunity to extend power or both at once.
The former include long-standing political dynasties and captains of industry. With the collapse of popular participation, the executive has been free to suspend core constitutional provisions as part of the global war on terror. As the late Sheldon Wolin rightly remarked:. An artful combination of propaganda flattered the mass, exploited its antipolitical sentiments, warned it of dangerous enemies foreign and domestic, and applied forms of intimidation to create a climate of fear and an insecure populace, one receptive to being led. The same citizenry, which democracy had created, proceeded to vote into power and then support movements openly pledged to destroy democracy and constitutionalism , Faced with the authoritarian roll-back of young democracies as in Poland, Hungary, and elsewhere and the slide of old democracies into oligarchy, the spectre of the interwar period is once more haunting the wider West.
Amid the rise of populism and the resurgence of nationalist forces, democracy faces an existential crisis, which unqualified liberalism is exacerbating. All democracies face the permanent threat of illiberal, populist forces that seek to destroy individual liberties paradoxically in the name of free speech — as in the case of far-right racist groups or religious fundamentalists.
However, liberal democracy itself can be a catalyst for populism and demagogy. First of all, there is the tension between substantive values and procedural standards. A key dilemma facing any democratic system is that it constantly needs to balance two competing demands: respecting majority will and commanding popular assent on the one hand, while protecting individuals and minorities from oppression on the other.
To do so, democracies have historically tended to combine formal rules and procedures with certain foundational values — such as liberty, equality and fraternity in France, or life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the US. The problem is that when rival values clash, say individual freedom and equality for all. In this manner, the liberal privileging of impartial standards may amount to the imposition of preferences that do not command popular consent and thus cannot be described as genuinely democratic.
That is because, at the hands of liberalism, liberty comes to mean negative freedom, equality becomes debased and amounts to sameness, tolerance turns out to be intolerant of non-liberals and emancipation is a form of forced liberation from social bonds that liberalism considers either oppressive or devoid of meaning. Second, the relative liberal indifference to substantive values can lead to a situation where the tendency to exploit fear and manipulate opinion becomes an endemic feature of liberal democracy.
Declaring a state of emergency is a constitutive characteristic of modern states, and liberal democracies are no exception when it comes to making exceptional powers permanent. This has a deleterious effect on public trust in the institutions of democratic systems. Third, democracies can also manipulate opinion, and demagogy seems to be a direct consequence of the democratic primacy of procedure over substance and the liberal approach to questions of truth: either liberalism reduces truth to the evidence of modern science and technocratic rationality, or else it bans truth from the court of public discussion and prefers procedural ground-rules of fairness.
Even if truth can never be fully known and will always be contested, politics without some measure of substantive truth is sophistry, as ancient Greco-Roman philosophers like Plato and Cicero warned. Today, liberal democracy seems caught between the truth of technocrats and the post-truth of anti-establishment insurgents. In response to the manipulative populism of the ruling elites, western democracies witness the periodic emergence of anti-elite populism by insurgent movements, as with Berlusconi and now Trump.
Nor can this simply be dismissed as a new or temporary threat to democracy. In democracies, everything can be debated publicly incl. Here it could be validly objected that there are numerous safeguards, including a more effective separation of powers, a more entrenched rule of law, greater individual rights and freedoms as well as more equality. And do not the free press and the internet guard against this supposed slide into demagogy? While the participatory potential of social media for democracy is real, the expansion of new technological capabilities can exacerbate the tendency to algorithmic self-regulation and simultaneous openness to both surveillance and remote-manipulation Morozov ; ; Bartlett Even more so than the real world, the virtual cyberspace lacks a robust and readily implementable ethos of self-discipline and reciprocal practice.
For this reason, it tends to favour fleeting tastes and a self-referential culture that lends itself to the sort of mass surveillance illustrated by the NSA spying scandal Democracy has certainly helped to uncover the extent of systematic snooping, but is it successful in rolling it back and reinstating civil liberties? Thus the exponential expansion of the internet within democratic discourse provides opportunities for free self-expression and greater scrutiny as well as social control and demagogic politics.
For the chiefs of both companies to protest that they are just a tech distributor and not a media corporation is untenable. And as media corporations they have to abide by a certain ethos of impartiality, otherwise they are tools in the new fusion of press with propaganda and politics. Contemporary liberal democracy is associated with greater freedoms and opportunities by extending individual rights and by replacing inherited status with natural equality before the law. There is much gain involved but also loss, notably the progressive erosion of the social bonds and civic ties on which vibrant democracies and market economies depend for trust and cooperation.
Democratic politics is connected with greater equality of opportunity and higher social mobility but by the same token it seems linked to fragmentation and dissolution. Different models of liberal democracy tend to oscillate between the sovereign power of the executive and the sovereign power of citizens qua freely-choosing individuals who are removed from the constraints of interpersonal relations and who entertain predominantly contractual ties with one another. The problem is that this has the effect of undermining human association and the political role of voluntary, democratically self-governing intermediary institutions such as professional associations, trade union, or universities.
Without the mediating function of intermediary institutions, democracy risks sliding into an anarchy of competing individuals who pursue their own self-interest without regard for reciprocal recognition and mutual benefit. The real alternative is not just greater democratic representation but also a stronger element of participatory and associative democracy at the local level.
As Tocqueville anticipated, liberal democracies that privilege mass opinion and self-interested representatives at the expense of education into virtue and bonds of association can produce forms of tutelary power:. Nor can this simply be dismissed as an old threat to democracy. However, contemporary democracy is often prone to deploying spectacle and subtle forms of propaganda. Of course this is not the same as in dictatorial regimes. In other words, my argument is not that democracy is becoming the same as dictatorship but rather that liberal democracy can mutate into novel forms of illiberal authoritarianism.
In the face of the liberal slide into a new form of democratic despotism, it is now once more the hour to recall the classical tradition, which tended to predict just such a slide of democracy into tyranny. Any mandatory conception of democracy tends ironically to empower an oligarchic and manipulative executive speaking in the name of the people, whom they really manipulate.
Trump maybe is both a reaction against this and a writing of it large. The US system has always been too oligarchic and has always provoked a populist resistance to this. The republic is in danger of Caesarian reversal. The sway of both social and economic liberalism is today being qualified by the intrusion of political polarities that do not readily fit into a left-right spectrum. These new polarities concern variously populism versus technocracy, nativism versus multiculturalism, rootedness versus mobility, sovereignty versus federation, bio-conservation versus techno-scientific trans-humanism, or realism versus idealism.
More conceptually, we can suggest that such and similar polarities concern the interpersonal versus the anonymous, the virtuous versus the amoral, the local versus the uniformly global, natural sociability versus artificial sociability and, above all, the primacy of society versus the primacy of the economy and the polity. The neglect of the social is the neglect of the substantive. People may be free and equal in theory and even before the law, but in practice, the grossest inequities and inhibitions of the freedoms of the many pertain.
During the period of neo-liberal hegemony, the gap between the wealth of the super-rich and the often falling incomes in real terms of the majority has widened, while rights to free time, work breaks and worker organisation have narrowed. In a more concealed way, the pressures of frenetic work have left most of us too tired to explore real exercises of freedom in creativity and adventure.
Yet it is increasingly apparent that liberty and equity cannot be rendered fully substantive by a programme of liberal statist equalisation that has always proved to engender a new tyranny exercised by an elite of state functionaries and party cadres. Instead, alternatives to the liberalism of the left and the right suggest that a more universal flourishing for all can be obtained when we continuously seek to define the goals of human society as a whole and then to discern the variously different and in themselves worthwhile roles that are required for the mutual achievement of these shared aims.
The respective freedoms of these roles and their rewards will be variegated: not literally equal in terms of wealth, power or command and yet equitable and so capable of sincere general acceptability. It can even be the case within such a post-liberal approach to justice that — as Aristotle suggested — rewards of honour and prestige for some may be balanced by unexpectedly high material rewards for relatively humble but crucial contributions Eudemian Ethics, EE VII, xi, 6, VII, x, ; Gallagher , Yet contemporary liberalism argues that appeals to goodness ignore the diversity of incompatible and incommensurable values in the complex societies of our late modern age.
But, if anything, the reverse is true. By contrast, faith in the common good promotes the plural search for shared ends. For the common good is not the total mathematically measurable good, an aggregate of privately owned items, but is, rather, concerned with the truest goods that we share together, such as intimacy, trust and beauty, whether momentarily with strangers or continuously with friends Zamagni , But a sense of the common good shared by an entire culture is embedded in practices of honour and reciprocity.
Such an ethos can only develop over time, through the habitual formation of tradition, the educative exercise of wise leadership and the prudential adaptation in practice by all of previous example. European socialism was first grounded in the notion of solidarity among labour and it regarded all human beings as workers in one crucial aspect of their humanity, which is the capacity for artifice and free creativity. It requires equally patient relating and sympathetic cooperation with fellow workers and clients along the horizontal plane.
A traditionally socialist affirmation of solidarity and mutuality therefore requires a linkage with certain Burkean thematics if it is not simply to fade back into the current hegemony of liberal notions of isolated freedom of choice. However, what is currently in the ascendancy is not such a rich post-liberal politics of the common good, but rather a virulent anti-liberalism that often takes the form of nationalism, atavistic ethno-centrism and even neo-fascism.
Insurgent anti-establishment forces, such as the hard left and the radical right, are deeply divided over open borders, migration, multiculturalism and globalism versus nativism. But they do share a certain anti-liberal outlook. First of all, both are opposed to key characteristics of economic liberalism and clamour for more national sovereignty to protect countries from the forces of globalisation.
They combine protectionism with more welfare and they view national elites as being in collusion with multinational corporations at the expense of ordinary citizens. Secondly, the hard left and the radical right also argue for much more central state intervention that undermines the freedom to associate and build intermediary institutions. And, fourthly, both promote a plebiscite populism that locks politics into a dialectical movement between empty theatrics and the power of oligarchy old or new.
There is thus a double convergence at work in much of Western politics: just as the main parties converged around variants of individualism, so too insurgent populists are converging around variants of statism. Neither the progressive liberal centre nor the reactionary anti-liberal extremes can be mapped according to the old binary opposition of left and right because both view politics as oscillating between two alternative poles: the isolated individual with her rights and liberties versus the collective power of the state either to secure or override them.
What is missing is the mediating role of human association — all the intermediary institutions of civil society that give people agency, including professional associations, profit-sharing businesses, trade unions, universities, ecological groups and devolved government. Connected with this is the populist hostility not to elitism but to pluralism.
The alliance between neo-liberal capitalism and atavistic ethno-centrism suggests that certain forms of liberalism are complicit with neo-fascism. There are also signs that politics is moving in a post-liberal direction, rejecting not only the economic and social liberalism that has been dominant for the past four decades but also the resurgent anti-liberalism that is its mirror image. What is post-liberalism? In the economy, it signals a shift from unfettered liberal market capitalism to economic justice and a greater reciprocity of profit and social purpose.
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In society, it signals a shift from rampant individualism and top-down state-enforced egalitarianism to social solidarity and more fraternal, reciprocal relations. And politically, it signals a shift from the minority politics of vested interests and exclusive group identity to a majority politics based on a balance of interests and shared social identity.
Linking post-liberalism together is an emphasis on the embedding of state and market in the intermediary institutions of civil society that give people agency. In Britain, it was first the Red Tory and Blue Labour factions challenged the progressive-liberal consensus by arguing that it intensified an imbalanced finance capitalism, a remote central bureaucratic state and a more atomised society lacking in a positive conception of belonging Glasman ; Blond ; Blond and Glasman ; Geary and Pabst The Brexit vote marks the end of a period in British politics characterised by modernisation and the triumph of a liberal consensus.
She has emphasised the bonds of family, community and citizenship, and the role of government as the ultimate guarantor of societal cohesion. Does her apparent post-liberalism represent a paradigm shift compared with the neo-liberal settlement now in crisis? As the Guardian columnist Martin Kettle suggests,.
We have a new political agenda that no political party can afford to ignore. Whether we consider ourselves liberal or not, we increasingly inhabit post-liberal times There is no inconsistency here if it is understood that this is not a call for a return to a top-heavy state but for stronger social participation and a more social market, in the forging of which the state has an active but essentially strategic role to play.
What is perhaps most striking is her apparent break with four decades of economic liberalism.
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For example, she has indicated that her government might step in to protect strategically important sectors such as steel and pharmaceuticals and, if necessary, prevent the sale of yet more British family silver to asset-stripping foreign corporations. That seems to have influenced her decision to include a government veto in all future foreign involvement in UK critical infrastructure investment as part of the delayed approval of the deal involving France and China on a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. The key difference with the early post-liberalism of the Big Society and One-Nation Labour is that May is prepared to underpin her commitment to greater economic justice and social cohesion with an appropriate political economy.
If implemented, political economy would begin to transcend the old binary oppositions of state vs. However, her apparent decision to back a hard Brexit, so leaving her free to pursue one-nation post-liberal conservatism at home, could run into contradictions. Already, indeed, her preparedness to sacrifice the free market to protected borders is running into opposition from the libertarian right-wing of her party who are perfectly happy about free movement of both labour and capital, but wish for even more deregulated trade than membership in the EU will allow.
They seem for the moment to be appeased by promised restrictions on low-paid immigration from central and eastern Europe, but may become less so when as is likely these restrictions fail to materialise and long-term collapse of market confidence in the UK leads to inflation and a further fall in living standards. Moreover, a likely desperate recourse to the most uninhibited global exponents of financial and business practice could prove incompatible with the forging of a social market at the domestic level. Nor, given the forward march of globalisation, is it easy to achieve this in one country acting alone rather than in association with others as for the EU and other trans-regional structures such as Nafta, Mercosur or the emerging Eurasian Economic Community.
It might be better to focus on offering both more academic opportunities for the gifted and more vocational training for the majority within the current structures. In the longer term any return of grammar schools should be accompanied by the creation of technical schools and selection for either at age 14 rather than age Furthermore, social mobility is too limited an ideal. It is admirable, but needs to be supplemented by a recognition that most people will not prove clear winners.
A problem with mere meritocracy as the Brexit vote shows is that it breeds a dangerous resentment amongst the many who carry out necessary but unglamorous tasks, and remain valuably rooted in one place. These people also deserve adequate, comfortable provision and a sense of dignity and respect consequent upon appreciation for their service. In this way unity and solidarity imply a more Burkean organic model that transcends fair competition, which is not thereby denigrated. A genuinely post-liberal perspective would involve a search for a restored sense of belonging for all, for more holistic fulfilment in work in resistance to the creeping proletarianisation of intellectual labour and for the combining of work with the needs of family and community Milbank and Pabst , This idea of a balance of interests at the service of the common good also points the way to a more ethical economy.
Instead of offering mere compensation for the side-effects of globalisation like so much of Western social democracy , a post-liberal approach focuses on injecting social purpose into economic profit. The point is to provide fundamental reforms, which would begin to change the nature of the market itself by aligning the executive with the long-term interests of the company, its shareholders, employers, consumers and members of the local communities where businesses operate.
This would go beyond mere representation of workers on company boards, which is nevertheless important and welcome. There is growing evidence to suggest virtuous entrepreneurship, if undertaken with integrity and not just for instrumental purpose, can help increase profit and remuneration precisely because it promotes innovation and productivity through employee retention, job satisfaction and participation in the workplace. But either a purely buccaneering approach to foreign relations or a xenophobic soft-fascism would be likely to ensure a backsliding in either respective direction.
Ultimately the British destiny cannot be separated from an attempt to forge, through or beyond the EU, a new and more accountable mode of European unity. Liberal democracy has an anti-democratic core and thus contains the seeds of its own erosion and its slide into oligarchy, demagogy and anarchy. If so, then democracies require not only non-democratic elements such as the rule of law a principle on which we do not vote but also a greater role for non-formalisable, non-legal judgement on what is good and right for society as a whole.
Otherwise liberalism is increasingly associated, not with peace and prosperity, but instead with war, economic exploitation and the decline of both local and high cultures. A mixed constitution begins by acknowledging that the liberal tradition is not all bad. But ever-more individual rights prevent a proper balance between personal freedom and social stability. True human happiness and shared wellbeing depend on mutual duties about which liberalism has little to say.
The same goes for moral and social virtues — courage, generosity, gratitude, loyalty, fraternity — that nurture the way we live in society. Appeals to emancipation and social justice ring hollow because liberal ideals too often overlook the relationships with our family, friends, colleagues or fellow citizens, which provide substance to otherwise vacuous values. The bonds sustaining us as social beings have been eroded by the liberal fusion of market monopoly with state power. A renewed mixed constitution is an attempt to renew the social realm and embed both economic and political institutions in the civic ties that.
This priority of society over politics and the economy reflects a human desire for mutual recognition. Liberalism assumes that we are naturally selfish, greedy, fearful of others and therefore prone to violent conflict. In reality, humans are capable of vice as well as virtue, and the right institutions can encourage virtuous behaviour. This would require a more developed public philosophy of the common good. Polanyi for example hoped that we might achieve yet a balance between community and contract through a fluid recognition of the importance of reciprocal free association and just political distribution.
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This could be done in a manner that would respect group feeling and the common good, and yet also advance the authentic creative reach of individual liberty — given that it lacks any real scope of being pursued in isolation. Indeed the logic of mutual honour is fundamental to the constitution of human culture itself.
Rescuing a talented few from an abject human morass is hardly a radical objective, even if lowly born talent should rightly be recognised and encouraged to succeed. Rather, whole families and communities need to be nurtured. Against the abstract universalism of liberal ideology and its preference for the global and the virtual, post-liberals argue for the honouring of place. With the advance of history, of course, diverse communities get evermore entangled with each other.
Yet the circumstance only augments a need to newly construct a complex, entangled and shared identity, which never altogether loses touch with its origins. Indeed both the political and the economic, as such, spring from the social, embedded in relationships of mutual trust and collective endeavour. Organic constitutional pluralism then supplements the other nineteenth-century liberalism. Key to such is the role of constitutionally protected corporate bodies that mediate between the individual and the corporate centre, for example associations and intermediary institutions such as manufacturing and trading guilds, cooperatives, ethical and profit-sharing businesses, trade unions, voluntary organizations, universities, village colleges and ecological groups.
A properly conceptualised pluralism defends the idea of group personality that is the paradoxical blending of personhood and association. Less because persons only exist in relation and more because it is the very relational position of the individual which gives him or her their unique identity. Such relatively independent associations therefore at once remind the state of the excess of personal freedom over its own totalizing thrust, and yet equally temper the personal tendency to autonomy with a liveable concrete reminder of wider society in an amenable microcosmic guise.
In the wake of the manifest failure of the liberal consensus adhered to then on all sides, it is clear that we should search for an alternative politics and social ethos. This would not just be about linking rights to responsibilities but also about solidarity and subsidiarity. In these ways, the real alternative to liberalism involves both greater economic egalitarianism and an updated social conservatism, freed of oppressive and unjustifiable prejudices against women and minorities.
For over three hundred years, Anglo-Saxon and French economic theory has largely followed liberal presuppositions such as foundational self-interest and the separation of contract from gift. But certain Italian economists, standing in a more classically humanist and Christian tradition, have thought in more associationist terms. For Adam Smith, economic production and trade based on contract is sundered from mutual sympathy.
It is here that Genovesi offers a completely different economic model, which explicitly involves reciprocity and the convivial. Public faith as such is not so much the aggregation of private trust or individual fate as a kind of universal sympathy that includes genuine love for the common good. In this way one can see how for the Italian civil economy tradition the market itself remains more social and more directly mediated by interpersonal relationships.
Smith in fact follows the Huguenots like Mandeville noted for his Fable of the Bees in Holland in producing order from the amoral disorder engendered by fallen human depravity. By contrast, Genovesi followed the more Catholic humanist philosopher Giambattista Vico, in the eighteenth century, building up public goods on the basis of intentional private desires.
In practical terms this means that a good economy must allow for a complex mix of self-interest and concern for others. Crucial concepts then which distinguish Neapolitan Genovesi and Scottish Adam Smith political economy are reciprocity and civil virtue within the market domain as such.
Reciprocity shifts the emphasis form the cash nexus to the social nexus. For Genovesi, society is not primarily about the division of labour and the harmonious balancing of self-interest in the marketplace as for Smith. Rather human beings have shared needs that can only be satisfied through mutual assistance. We cannot make ourselves happy without making others happy. If human beings are naturally political, social and gift-exchanging animals, they need to cultivate habits of personal and communal living that sustain the polity, society and economy.
Both the civil economy and the Catholic Social thought, traditions then, insist on the difference between the market and the capitalist distortion of such. We also need something like the traditional Italian sense of locality, comprising city and commune as a relatively self-sustaining economy in accordance with economic application of the subsidiarity principle.
This should include, for them, the local owning and organizing of energy companies, geared wherever possible towards renewables, in order to undercut giant private companies which would be either mutualised or broken up. Such enterprises would increase the appeal of staying on the land in order to achieve a more stable agriculture and to sustain the rural beauty which is ultimately our cultural lifeblood.
Today it is possible to restore the primacy of land and craft in an extended ecological sense of a primacy of nature as a whole, of humanity taken as part of nature, wisely governing over it in order to perfect it through further beautification and intensified flourishing. Such a primacy would uniquely guard against the siphoning off of real benefits for overly abstract urban purposes with a consequent leaching away of the meaning of nature.
It is by embracing a specifically rooted vision of the common good that the West can address the meta-crisis of capitalism. However, people will claim that this is not possible because the debt burden means we must ruthlessly retrench public provision, while withdrawing all restraints on market systems.
At this point it is necessary to outline a series of approaches that could transform a cartel based capitalism into a functioning and just market economy — starting with the issue of debt. If the sums in the dual-entry books do not yield a positive amount, an entire economy and society will define itself in terms of lack. But to accept this scenario, according to the nineteenth-century political philosopher Thomas Carlyle, is to remain in deluded denial of the natural and artificial abundance that lies all about us.
We then ignore the underlying reality of continued great wealth provided by labour and technological ingenuity. Yet the debtors may have already turned that amount owed to creditors into more actual positive wealth. By another, gift-exchange logic, indebtedness could be seen more as a positive personal and social bond, whose essence is a grateful promise to make a counter-payment in the future. In fact, in civil economic terms, like primordial gift exchange, both profit and risk are shared more equitably among stakeholders; lenders and borrowers, producers and consumers.
Here we can learn from Islamic finance. A post-liberal common good economy requires an ethical as well as economic negotiation of wages, prices and profits among owners, workers and shareholders and consumers. For they would all be given the opportunity to acquire a real political and economic stake in every enterprise. In fact, from a civil economy perspective, the post-war Keynesian and neo-liberal welfare settlement represents two sides of the same coin. Both, albeit in different ways, rely on a strong state at the expense of intermediary institutions. In effect then, there is an ever greater case for mutualising social security.
If we are to escape from state indebtedness, a crucial component of capitalist logic as we have seen, the healthcare system should be run as a mutual trust, accountable to its members, with a greater role for healthcare cooperatives. In the interests of an integral and holistic approach health and social care should be combined. The civil economy model can be summarised as follows. Overwhelmingly it ties economic profit to ethical and social purpose, and seeks to ethicise exchange.
In the same spirit, it replaces the separation of risk from reward with risk and profit sharing models. In both respects, it publicly requires an economic pursuit of honourable practice and genuine benefit rather than just abstract wealth and power, altogether in pursuit of the common good. So Kant for example views warfare as an evil necessary to regulate the original violence that is supposedly our fundamental human condition.
They are transnational reflections of universal human attributes: language, cultural customs, music, art, literary modes, fashion in manners and dress, as well as religion. The real alternative to either chauvinist nationalism or abstract cosmopolitanism is to re-envision the international order in terms of covenant and commonwealth.
Peoples, sometimes under religious inspiration, may covenant with each other in the interests of mutual benefit and genuine wealth construed as improved and shared material and spiritual wellbeing for all. Such covenants of reciprocal sharing could apply within the UK or across Europe and the British Commonwealth as well as in other parts of the world. They might take the form of voluntary agreements among participating nations to meet minimum standards of the sharing of risks, rewards and resources in both the economic and social realms, and also to meet shared standards of both solidarity and subsidiarity.
Such a novel approach to globalisation would be a way to revive and re-think the West including Russia and the entire world as something like multinational associations where social and cultural ties shape identity more than individual entitlements and contracts. In the intercourse between nations, we are apt to rely too much on the instrumental part. We lay too much weight upon the formality of treaties and compacts.
We do not act much more wisely when we trust to the interests of men as guarantees of their engagements. They are led to associate by resemblances, by conformities, by sympathies. It is with nations as with individuals. Nothing is so strong a tie of amity between nation and nation as correspondence in laws, customs, manners, and habits of life.
They have more than the force of treaties in themselves. They are obligations written in the heart. They approximate men to men, without their knowledge, and sometimes against their intentions. The secret, unseen, but irrefragable bond of habitual intercourse holds them together even when their perverse and litigious nature sets them to equivocate, scuffle, and fight, about the terms of their written obligations. The cause must be sought in the similitude throughout of religion, laws, and manners.
At bottom, these are all the same. The writers on public law have often called this aggregate of nations a Commonwealth. They had reason , pp. By contrast with the liberal conception of nations as individual egos writ large that are driven by will not intellect, Burke accentuates the primary of association over the sovereign power of the individual. In other words, he inverts the modern priority of rights and contracts by arguing that the mutual moral obligations of interpersonal relations are more primary than abstract, formal and procedural standards imposed for either state-administrative or market-commercial purposes.
One might in this light say that, ever since humans walked round the globe, both the global and the minutely local are more primarily linked than the more restricted modes of political and economic maximisation lying in between so beloved of liberals. Moreover, beyond even natural law, one can ultimately appeal to the principle and practice of love or charity, which complements both power politics and natural law, and which relates the dignity of all persons to their shared transcendent origin and finality.
The anthropological basis for this appeal lies in the human capacity for virtue, including the social virtues of courage, generosity, loyalty, kindness, and sympathy, which humans across different cultures have practiced as part of diverse types of association — the social body that lies at the heart of the body politic. Thereby, one can refuse the liberal view that the incommensurability of rival values either necessarily requires an internationally unforthcoming central sovereign power to arbitrate conflict or else leads to a fragile and uncomfortable international modus vivendi.
Taken together, a commitment to the common good and constitutional corporatism by global powers could in theory transform the dominant model of neo-liberal globalisation. The focus on shared substantive ends can correct the fixation either with instrumental and transactional relationships merely national or international corporate interests or with procedural ties commitment to common rules and regulative bodies towards the reality of shared cultural and social bonds that matter more in an increasingly globalised world. Moreover, the liberal alternative of a global embrace of liberal capitalism is all too likely to leave most of the Global East and South in permanent subordination and penury, given that economic and regional inequity is built into the logical workings of capitalism.
This would be a dismal and, in reality, a regressive prospect. History has truly moved on and disclosed something unexpected, but true, to our gaze. If we are prepared to recognise this, then we can begin to try to craft a post-liberal global approach that would seek to ensure that integral and substantive social loyalties can live alongside each other in peace, which means also in terms of those substantive — and often pan-religious — loyalties that they can discover they share in common. The long-term spectre of barbarism has returned to haunt all world civilisations.
And now this ghost demands of them the seemingly impossible — to recover their own interior identity and to engage externally in commonwealth-creating projects.
But only the impossible may be remotely realistic. Liberalism, in the final analysis, threatens to collapse back into the materialism that is one half of its dualist worldview, evacuating the ungrounded dualism that is its other half. Starting in the nineteenth century, liberalism tended towards a procedural formalism and a cultural vacuity, which were challenged by the materialist philosophies of Nazism, Fascism, and Communism that sought to re-construct positive liberty on a non-religious, supposedly scientific basis.
And following their eventual collapse in the twentieth century, liberalism has insisted on its own latent materialism. Not only has the soul disappeared, but also the subject and along with it the citizen and ultimately the idea of humans as social and creative beings. Where the new fascists pander to the politics of fear and exclusion of the alien immigrant or refugee , mainstream politics needs to develop a politics of hope, which addresses popular concerns about loss and insecurity, and offers a positive vision of patriotism and international solidarity.
The politics of virtue promotes individual fulfilment and mutual flourishing, though always mediated by local inheritances and specificities. Nor could resurgent nationalism and new forms of racism stand in greater contrast to it. Not only is neo-fascism chauvinist and immoral, but it is also nostalgic since it seeks an exaggerated version of recent modernity. So the worldwide revulsion against liberalism is a sign that we have entered post-liberal times. Yet Brexit, Trump, and other anti-establishment insurgencies in the West are profoundly ambivalent insofar as they do not simply push back against global market fundamentalism and progressive social engineering.
They also fuse anti-liberal with ultra-liberal ideas. Some insurgents want to undo socially liberal reforms, such as abortion or certain minority rights, while cracking down on immigrants in a raging fit of atavistic ethnocentrism. Connecting anti-liberal with ultra-liberal ideas is a cult of mere will, which is unmediated by civic institutions or highbrow cultural traditions — a kind of will-to-power in a novel guise. There remains a clear need for a broad popular movement in shaping a politics of the common good — a movement that can overcome the binaries that divide Western countries and increasingly the whole world: young versus old, owners versus workers, natives versus immigrants, city versus countryside, faithful versus secular.
Instead, resistance must be based on the primacy of positive liberty and a substantive vision of true human flourishing. At the heart of its primacy lies the sense that human beings — as integral, if bizarre, rational and political animals, uneasily poised between bios and techne — are all heroic cultural labourers, who work because they are guided by a vision of the further realisation of the good.
Therefore, any viable alternative has to focus on cultural identities, but reach for ones more linked to noble aspirations than to fearful prejudice. Instead of rewarding vice as in liberalism , we need to renew institutions that encourage virtue. In increasingly heterogeneous societies, greater social and cultural cohesion requires a plural search for the common good. By replacing liberal value moralism with virtues of humility, courage, generosity, loyalty and fraternity, we can renew statecraft and diplomacy in a quest to build a more equitable world order. Agamben, Giorgio State of Exception.
Kevin Attell, trans. Barnett, Antony Corporate Populism and Partyless Democracy. New Left Review, No. Bauman, Zygmunt Bell, David A. New York: Mariner. Berlin, Isaiah Two Concepts of Liberty. In Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Blond, Phillip London: Faber and Faber. Blue Labour.
Prospect, Issue , 30 April Boggs, Carl New York: Guilford Press. Bouvet, Laurent Paris: Editions Fayard. Bull, Hedley London: Macmillan.
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