Why Liberalism Failed

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Yale University Press, Jan 9, 2018 - History - 248 pages
3 Reviews
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"One of the most important political books of 2018."--Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century--fascism, communism, and liberalism--only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism's proponents tend to forget that it is an ideology and not the natural end-state of human political evolution. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor of privatism; and in its pursuit of individual autonomy, it has given rise to the most far-reaching, comprehensive state system in human history. Here, Deneen offers an astringent warning that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure.

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User Review  - Paul_S - LibraryThing

From what is a pure opinion piece I expect some thought provoking insights. It's mostly a repetitive list of complaints against modern society. Not saying I disagree with anything here, just that none of it is revealing or explanatory. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - citizencane - LibraryThing

Patrick Deneen, who teaches in the Political Science department at Notre Dame, has written a powerful critique of the political philosophy of Liberalism that was rooted in the thought of Thomas Hobbes ... Read full review


one Unsustainable Liberalism
two Uniting Individualism and Statism
three Liberalism as Anticulture
four Technology and the Loss of Liberty
five Liberalism against Liberal Arts
six The New Aristocracy
seven The Degradation of Citizenship
Liberty after Liberalism

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About the author (2018)

Patrick J. Deneen is Professor of Political Science and holds the David A. Potenziani Memorial College Chair of Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His previous books include The Odyssey of Political Theory, Democratic Faith, and a number of edited volumes. He lives in South Bend, IN.

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