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Summary

Has liberalism failed because it has succeeded?

Of the three dominant ideologies of the 20th 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.

©2018 Patrick J. Deneen (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • M. E. Donnelly
  • 19-06-18

Plausible connection between the two liberalism's

Well reasoned. Reading a little too textbookish. I still listened all the way through, as the content was worth considering. This book may not be well received by rugged individualists. Certainly not by anyone who has bought into the all powerful central state. Deneen, I think, sought to detail the roots and evaluate the fruits of liberalism, and, finally, to start the conversation about how to practically move into a post-liberal world.

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  • Gabriel Noah Brahm
  • 03-06-18

Liberty After Liberalism

This book asks the big questions and gets to some plausible answers by the end, too. If you want to know what it means to be free today, give it a listen.