In “Why Liberalism Failed,” Patrick Deneen contends that today’s liberal regimes deserve to perish because they do not live up to the classical conception of political excellence. But the spirit of his critique clashes with the purpose of the ancients’ examination of the best regime.
In “Why Liberalism Failed,” Patrick Deneen attributes to John Locke’s liberalism the purpose of emancipating individuals from every imaginable form of constraint. This undergirds Deneen’s thesis that liberalism promulgates false and self-defeating ideas about human nature, morality, and politics.
Patrick Deneen, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, has written an angry and breathless polemic against liberalism in the large sense — that is, the school of political thought that holds that human beings are by nature free and equal, and that the chief purpose of government is to secure individual rights.
Our politics increasingly encourages citizens — members of the intellectual and political elite particularly — to take to an extreme the perennial human propensity to take one’s opinions to an extreme. This imperils liberal democracy in America.
Last week in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court threaded the needle. Whether the thread will hold is uncertain. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s narrowly crafted majority opinion protected religious liberty without impairing gay rights.
The term “liberalism” ranks among the most contested in our political lexicon. It should also be regarded as among the most vital. In the large sense, liberalism names the modern tradition of freedom. Liberalism so understood was the dominant strand in our nation’s founding. Appreciating the standard accusations against it and why it is worthy of defense is crucial to conserving the best of the American constitutional tradition.
Only apologists determined to avert their eyes and cover their ears could deny with a straight face that higher education in America today nurses hostility to free speech.
In his new book, Leon Kass shows Americans how to honor the benefits of liberal democracy, including individual freedom and human equality, while recognizing their high costs.
Many progressives think that independence from religious belief is a crucial source of the power of human rights. According to many conservatives, the spurning of faith reflects a dangerous delusion inscribed in human rights doctrine. Amid the bad blood and casual vituperation that do daily damage to American politics, correcting the error common to the left and right that human rights are one thing and religion entirely another might contribute to rebuilding common ground.
To mark the close of 2017, we asked a handful of our writers to name the best two or three books they read this year, and briefly to explain their choices.
Last Sunday, in New York City, the Jewish Leadership Conference held its “Inaugural Conference on Jews and Conservatism.” The one-day event attracted some 400 participants from around the country and from Canada, Mexico, and Israel.
According to prominent members of the progressive elite — and a few members of the conservative elite — the election of Donald Trump signaled the rise in the United States of fascism or racism or both.
In the United States, conservatism and liberalism — often to the consternation of conservatives and liberals — are ineluctably intertwined. This turns out to be true of foreign affairs as well as of domestic affairs. Attention to this entwinement helps bring into focus the key question concerning the contemporary dispute about the post-World War II international order and the United States’ role in maintaining it: What policies best advance America’s interest in conserving freedom?
The general sense among conservatives – highlighted this week in speeches by both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Milo Yiannopoulis – is that they’re the minority on campus, and that their right to speak is being shut down by a left-leaning majority.
When one-fifth of college students believe it's fine to use violence to silence speech, we have a huge problem.
The threat to free speech in the United States is by no means restricted to colleges and universities, but they have become breeding grounds, training camps, and launching pads in the campaign to curtail liberty of thought and discussion. It is on our campuses where the battle for free speech will be won or lost.
Colleges and universities honor free inquiry in theory, but not always in fact. How to keep higher education true to its values.
On college campuses, outrage over provocative speakers sometimes turns violent. It's becoming a pattern on campuses around the country. A speaker is invited, often by a conservative student group. Other students oppose the speaker, and maybe they protest. If the speech happens, the speaker is heckled. Sometimes there's violence.
Moderation—the tendency to avoid the extremes and strike sensible balances—does not appear to be President Trump’s strong suit. That so much of the opposition to him is bereft of this much-disparaged but essential virtue poses an even more alarming threat to the long-term public interest.
Much as administrators and faculty may dislike it, the fact is that public colleges are subject to both the First Amendment and the state legislatures that fund them. Legislators shouldn’t micromanage the campuses, but they must set some basic rules.