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liberalism



  • Can We Do Better than Liberal Democracy?

    by Adam Gopnik

    Critic Adam Gopnik examines two recent books on alternatives to representative democracy that respond to the recent use of institutions by power-seeking authoritarians. 



  • The Thrill of Teaching Mill

    by Samuel Goldman

    Mill was prescient in focusing attention not only on the restriction of speech by the state, but on the cultural and social obstacles to dissenting opinion.



  • The Bad Guys are Winning: The 21st Century Reversal of Liberalism

    by Anne Applebaum

    "Nowadays, autocracies are run not by one bad guy, but by sophisticated networks composed of kleptocratic financial structures, security services (military, police, paramilitary groups, surveillance), and professional propagandists."



  • Why a Liberal Education is Worth Defending

    by Steve Mintz

    Roosevelt Montas’s forthcoming "Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation" makes a powerful case for engagment with the Great Books as a way to subvert hierarchies and promote equity. 



  • Liberal Democracy is Worth a Fight

    by Anne Applebaum

    "In the real world, the battle to defend liberal democracy is sometimes a real battle, a military battle, not merely an ideological battle."



  • Review Essay: Freedom for Whom?

    by Michael Mirer

    Two recent books, by Tyler Stovall and Annelien De Dijn, interrogate the history of the idea of freedom and the question of whether western liberal democracy can be freed from its historical roots in exclusion and domination of others. 



  • The Liberals Who Weakened Trust in Government

    by Kim Phillips-Fein

    Historian Kim Phillips-Fein writes that Paul Sabin's new book "Public Citizens" adds to understanding of the rise of conservatism and the power of attacks on "big government" by focusing on the role of liberal public interest groups in exposing the capture of the liberal regulatory state by big business interests. 



  • Social Fissures have Made Building a Broad Liberal Coalition Hard for 50 Years

    by Steven M. Gillon

    Hostility toward the welfare state, frequently driven by the idea that government programs unfairly benefit minorities at the expense of whites, has prevented the Democratic party from consolidating a political majority for decades. Worshipping fallen heroes like Robert Kennedy obscures the political work needed to build and keep a coalition.



  • Joe Biden, the Reverse Ronald Reagan

    Is the Biden administration's response to the crises affecting America more than a collection of programs and initiatives? Is the Democratic party moving to firmly repudiate Ronald Reagan's quip that "government is the problem"? 



  • Runaway American Dreams

    by Dennis M. Hogan

    What does it say about American liberalism that it's cultural tribune, Bruce Springsteen, is doing a corporate-sponsored podcast with the former President of the United States? 



  • Emmanuel Macron’s Socially Constructed Bogeymen

    by Daniel W. Drezner

    What, exactly, "Islamo-leftism" is, and what relationship it could possibly have to American academic theories, are two big questions left unanswered by the French President's attacks on academic ideas. 



  • Pankaj Mishra’s Reckoning With Liberalism’s Bloody Past

    Indian critic Pankaj Mishra argues in a new book of essays that recent liberal concern about right-wing politicians declaring support for "western civilization" ignores the way that liberal colonialists have embraced ideas of cultural supremacy. 


  • History, Evidence and the Ethics of Belief

    by Guy Lancaster

    Untrammelled freedom of belief has been enshrined as an American civic virtue. The nation, democracy, and possibly the planet are imperiled without a collective commitment to respect belief only to the extent available evidence supports it. 


  • Neal Gabler's "Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour"

    by James Thornton Harris

    Neal Gabler's first volume of a biography of Ted Kennedy praises the long-serving senator as the driving force of a hugely consequential period of liberal legislative success. Those looking for gossip or consideration of his personal failures may be disappointed.



  • From Revolution to Reformism

    by Adam Przeworski

    A new book of political theory excerpted here locates the decline of the Left in its adoption of reformist rhetoric that accommodated capitalism's preferences for fiscal stability and austerity.



  • What Should Drive Biden’s Foreign Policy?

    Columnist and Humphrey biographer James Traub says the former Senator and VP's interventionist liberalism in foreign policy is a model for Joe Biden's administration to reestablish American preeminence in world affairs.