Magazine February 5, 2018, Issue

Liberalism’s Failure — and Its Success

Patrick J. Deneen (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)
Why Liberalism Failed, by Patrick J. Deneen (Yale, 248 pp., $30)

Let me begin with a trigger warning. If you appreciate the writings of John Locke, if you revere the United States Constitution, and if you view an essential role of government as securing and protecting the unalienable rights outlined in the Bill of Rights, prepare to be provoked by Patrick Deneen’s new book. Called “Why Liberalism Failed,” it makes the argument that the modern liberal order is failing precisely because it succeeded. The very success of liberalism has hollowed out modern American society, stripped it of virtue, and contributed to monstrous levels of economic and social inequality.

But first, let’s define

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Letters

Letters

For What It’s Worth President Trump’s comment on the pricing of the United States Post Office (discussed in the Week, January 22) is based on a common misconception of what constitutes ...
The Week

The Week

‐ We thought Cory Booker might be after the Democratic nomination in 2020, but apparently he’s campaigning for an Oscar. ‐ Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury has enraged both Trump loyalists ...
Poetry

Poetry

DISASTER RELIEF Three cuts I’ve gotten from the box knife’s blade, and needlessly I wonder — will they heal? as we remove debris for those who stayed. My last guess in the word game ...

Most Popular

Media

‘Anonymous’ Falls Flat

On the menu today: The op-ed page of the New York Times made the deliberate decision to hoodwink America about the identity of “Anonymous”; the sense of guilt that pervades legacy media -- a very apt label; and wondering whether or not we will even see long lines on Election Day with early voting being so ... Read More
Media

‘Anonymous’ Falls Flat

On the menu today: The op-ed page of the New York Times made the deliberate decision to hoodwink America about the identity of “Anonymous”; the sense of guilt that pervades legacy media -- a very apt label; and wondering whether or not we will even see long lines on Election Day with early voting being so ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More
Economy & Business

Daylight Savings Forever

Before I became a parent, I didn't have especially strong feelings about the time shifting by an hour twice a year. Like most people I was aware of the downsides -- increased car accidents, schedule confusion, etc. -- and I figured it would be better to knock it off. But I didn't feel personally offended by ... Read More
Economy & Business

Daylight Savings Forever

Before I became a parent, I didn't have especially strong feelings about the time shifting by an hour twice a year. Like most people I was aware of the downsides -- increased car accidents, schedule confusion, etc. -- and I figured it would be better to knock it off. But I didn't feel personally offended by ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More