Society as a Department Store: Critical Reflections on the Liberal State
In Society as a Department Store Ryszard Legutko wrestles with the emancipatory ideology promulgated by postmodernists, libertarians, and liberal thinkers. Legutko argues that modern Western liberals have embraced a revolutionary ethic; they have turned their backs on their own cultural heritage, and used its political and ideological apparatus to destroy classical metaphysics and epistemology. The book considers the paradoxical implications of this state of affairs for Eastern European intellectuals arguing that, with the triumph of liberalism over communism, these intellectuals feel compelled to digest an ideology that shares many elements with the oppressive system from which they just liberated themselves. Based on hubris rather than genuine humane concerns, Legutko mourns not simply the loss of faith in classical Western culture, but the way in which that loss is becoming a central point of identity.
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accept anarchists anticommunism anticommunist antifascism argue argument attitude believed Berlin capitalism civil society claim classical liberalism communist communist idea concept conflict constitutions criteria critical critique culture democratic diversity economic epistemological equality essay ethical exist F. A. Hayek fact free market freedom Furet Gray Gray's Hayek Hayek's theory Hayekians hierarchy human ical ideals ideology incommensurability individual institutions instrumentalist intellectual interpretation Isaiah Berlin Kley Kley's less liberal conservatism liberal-conservative libertarian liberty live majority Marxist means ment Michael Novak mind modern moral nature Nazism negative nonliberal notion oligarchy philosophical Plato pluralist democracy Poland Polish political order populist democracy positive toleration possible postmodern postmodern liberal practices problem question reason regime Republic republicanism revolution revolutionary role rules Ryszard Legutko sense social Socrates solidarity Soviet sympathetic openness thesis thinkers thought timocracy tion tradition truth ultimate utopia value pluralism Western writes