The end of Liberalism is the beginning

Classic liberalism has taken us a long ways, allowing much more complex societies than before. But it cannot pull us much further by itself. The endpoint of the focus on the individual is beginning to pull us a part. As social animals, we cannot survive as individuals.

“Why Liberalism Failed” — the title suggests an abstract and academic treatise, and author Patrick Deneen does not disappoint. The Notre Dame professor discourses on modernity’s prevailing political philosophy and loftily pronounces it dead. His critique spans countries, centuries and fields of study from economics to the humanities. It’s not a small topic, when you think about it.

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But we can use our liberal gifts to bootstrap ourselves to a new way of organizing ourselves, one with a little more balance, by adding more distributed systems of interacting rather than hierarchical.

We are already in the process and early examples are seeing tremendous success. We can do this now because we have tools to accomplish  this change, something lacking before.

This is the fundamental cause of our troubles today – advancing to a new level of social organization. One that provides a selective advantage in the new cultural environment we inhabit

Liberalism got us up several flights of stairs but to continue we need new principles.

[Crossposted at SpreadingScience]

Image: Skara kommun

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