What is it about?
Patrick Deneen's work is reviewed and expanded around liberalism central understanding of the modern individual's right of choice irrespective of "thick" relationships and community connections forming and informing how and what a specific person chooses. Albert O. Hirschman's historical genealogy is brought into the discussion concerning the political arguments around the reductive view of the modern person as a self-interested individual who decides based on gain. This view of the person is indispensably central to modern capitalist culture. Both Deneen and Hirschman see this truncated understanding of the human as fostered by the state, I trace the "common sense" notion of the self-interested individual beyond Hirschman's period of inquiry to the present. Deneen laments liberal individualism leads to a breakdown of of committed social webs and any real democratic character found only in the context of community. It creates an opening for tyranny.
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Why is it important?
The global hegemony of liberal democracy is breaking down with deleterious effects seen world-wide in dramatically undemocratic fashion as global crises and unrest abound. More liberalism will only fan the flames. A renewed perspective on what it means to be human outside of the liberal order is paramount.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The King Is Dead; Long Live the Dead King!DeneenPatrick J, Why Liberalism Failed (Politics and Culture). New Haven, CN and London: Yale University Press, 2018. Pp. 225 (including index), $30.00 (hbk), $18.00 (pbk). ISBN: 0300223447, 9780300223446., Critical Sociology, May 2018, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0896920518778761.
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