New York Times columnist Bret Stephens and Notre Dame professor Patrick Deneen discuss liberalism.
Sorry Bari but there is zero chance that I would spend almost 2 hours wasting my time listening to two navel gazing nitwits prattle on about absolute rubbish. The first 10 minutes was more than sufficient to establish that.
The very premise of the discussion is patently absurd -positing that "LIberal democracy is under threat across the West and populist movements are on the march. There’s Brexit in the UK. There’s Viktor Orbán in Hungary. There’s Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. And in the United States, of course, there’s Donald Trump."
No, to the contrary, all of those movements are about restoring individual and economic freedom and the rule of law against the globalist world order that seeks to impose a Chinese-style autocracy on the world's people and to destroy national sovereignty. Did you miss the fact that even the UN Human Rights Commission has fingered the PRC as running concentration camps? And yet our biggest institutions - Nike, Chase bank, Apple, Disney etc. - are in thrall to them. Dimon, Cook, Gates, Iger and the Democrat Party et al bow down to them. Even our imbecilic president is in their back pocket, flush with Chinese cash laundered through his felonious son and brother.
The protection of the rule of law, borders, individual freedom and family is not illiberal. What is illiberal and dangerous is oligarchic, one world state control. And the Democrat Party and its toady media, that would impoverish and enslave our citizens and which enables and advances the insanity that is their currency.
I have to take issue with the idea that Brexit is seen as a threat to liberal democracy. To my mind Brexit was a defence of liberal democracy. Imagine if there was no electoral mandate for the president of the USA. Imagine if congress or the senate was merely a rubber stamping of laws created by an unelected executive. I think you would take issue with that so I find it extraordinary that it is seen as this threat. We all understand the economic benefits of belonging to the EU but not at the cost of democracy.
Problem of liberal democracy is not freedom, but sad state of politicians in the west.
In last 30 years, our politicians together with Wall Street have done everything in their power to destroy middle class and families in liberal democracies. At the same time, we have seen astonishing rise of Dictatorships that was fueled by economic growth provided by outsourcing of our manufacturing.
Every Chinese has seen their life take huge upswing to better in last 30 years. He/She is able to afford stuff his parents could only dream, country they live in went from third world, to leader in many technologies, infrastructure and is improving by the day.
At same time average American has seen complete oposite, only few are living better than 30 years ago, country is unrecognizable, we went from infrastructure that was pride of the nation to one that is in ruin. Middle America has been sold by Wall Street by outsourcing manufacturing. Or cities look more and more like third world, falling infrastructure, with rich living in gated communities while rest is living in lawlessness around. Schools and Universities went from education to brainwashing and creating people who are zealots of woke ideology and not productive members of societies. And worst of all, four family units have been utterly destroyed.
Liberal democracy didnt fail us, we failed it, by voting slew of incompetent carrier politicians to office for last several decades and that we allowed those same politicans to year after year to sell our freedom to highest bidder, be it Wall Street, Big pharma, or any other foreign interest.
As all saying goes, you get what you vote for, and sadly we voted very badly.
Normally I never post a comment without reading or listening to the whole thing, but the first paragraph poses a problem right off the bat—-the premise that there is liberalism—-good—- and populism—bad. But what do these terms mean in America?
Liberalism in America is no longer the classical liberalism of Locke. It isn’t even liberal in the freedom sense of the word. Liberalism, associated with the left, is now woke neoMarxism. It is anti-capitalist and even fascist since it seeks to control the people through an alliance between big government and big business, especially big media. It divides people into greivance groups and imposes on the rights and freedoms of some to favor these greivance groups.
What is American populism? In my view it is a reaction to “liberalism”. It fights government overreach (forced vaccination), fights the corruption of the deep state (DOJ), fights woke mania in schools, universities and social media, fights the tolerance of criminal behavior by DAs, fights the green mania that is destroying our energy. Sounds good to me.
So let’s hear what Mr Stevens, whom I would not call a conservative, and Prof Deneen have to say. I may have come come back and do an Emily Letella, Never Mind.
Okay so if Trump is an illiberal Populist, then what is Biden? He canceled hundreds of billions in student debt, gave away hundreds of billions more to alternative energy companies, has worked to eliminate due process on college campuses, and selectively declines to enforce laws, including on immigration. I may agree with Biden’s positions on select issues, but I think it’s fair to say that he hasn’t been any more beneficial to liberal democracy than Trump. Biden’s form of illiberal Populism just has a different political slant and it seems that the media still cannot bring itself to acknowledge it for what it is. So while using Trump is convenient bc readers will have already been exposed to these characterizations, I think it’s a very weak straw man and misses an opportunity to talk about the only illiberal threat that actually matters, and that’s the people in power…
Britain voted to leave the EU, right? A nation-wide election directing the future of the country sure sounds like DEMOCRACY to me. But maybe the Ministry of Truth has changed the meaning of the word.
The premise for this piece is false. It is not populists who are threat to freedom, but the left's obsessions with governmental and social controls and rules. Populists generally want smaller government and freedom from shackles imposed by leftist elites - basically to be left alone.
Serfdom is a blessing to the ignorant and the lazy. The medieval arrangement where the lower class owns nothing and is provided a meager existence is what many people desperately desire simply because it removes all of the responsibility that has been placed on them. Freedom requires personal responsibility and some people just can’t handle that.
Someone help me out. Is the person who wrote this actually trying to suggest that populism is a threat to liberal democracy? This is the line: "If there is a headline to the past half-decade, it’s this: liberal democracy is under threat across the West and populist movements are on the march."
"Populism" is about regular people (their needs, their welfare, their will) over that of the elites and large institutions (businesses and governments) and other "elevated" groups. If that's a threat to "liberal democracy," then I'm not sure we're defining liberal democracy the same way, and I'm not sure I'm too keen on your version.
Another outstanding podcast!
However, Professor Deneen is simply wrong. He is using a straw man to define classical liberalism by only focusing on individual freedoms. The intellectual heritage of our founding is much richer, and the maintenance of our social fabric through strong mediating institutions is inseparable from freedom. In fact, they are presented as inseparable (hence John Adams' statement that the Constitution is unsuitable for a nonreligious people). The malaise of our culture is not due to the success of the liberal project, but rather the failure of our mediating institutions to sustain the liberal order. It is very possible that we will have to relinquish more of our freedoms over time because our culture lacks the character to sustain it. This would be a failure of the liberal project, not the result of its success.
I saw the word liberalism and ran for the hills. Thats a word thats been hijacked by lefty socialists along with every thing else they are trying to destroy thats good about America. That is now the antithesis of freedom -as a word. I’ll insert Liberty every time I read it thank you very much.
Any chance of posting the transcript?
Once you realize that "wokism" is just another religion born from secular liberalism with no moral compass, it makes sense. The foundation of liberalism and individual freedom is sound but it always relied on the idea of moral truths birthed by religious ideals. Take away the underlying foundation and the moral relativity which gets created is nothing but chaos.
Brett was absolutely insufferable in this discussion. His constant straw-manning and overall disingenuousness was very off-putting, to say the least.
America is still where it’s “at”. Still the shining light on the hill. Still the country where if you were a Pakistani woman with a phd in physics could come to USA , marry ,become a USA citizen, go to your children’s soccer game and be accepted by the other parents as an American.
de Tocqueville and President Reagan said America’s strength comes from a strong belief and homage to God. From this comes our moral compass and our strong democracy following the laws of God and our country. .
Unfortunately we have thrown God out of our lives and country and have no compass, no purpose other than satisfying our desires, greed, materialism.
Look around our country and world. The books, movies, greed,lack of morality.
I firmly believe we are seeing the greatest tribulation ever from God upon mankind wholly wrought by our own hands.
Like peeling back a cooked onion, layer by layer. Fires, droughts, floods, food shortages, energy shortages, homelessness , drug addiction ,drug deaths, war, lawlessness, suicides, mass shootings. Rampant store thefts with no arrests.
Lack of knowledge of God, lack of knowledge of the Bible, lack of knowledge of our countries’ history.
It is absurd there is a shortage of electricity and water in California. They have the ocean and sitting on massive oil and gas resources and have the means to build nuclear power plants. They recently rejected a proposal to build a large desalination plant.
The people not working are given free everything- food, money, health care- more than many working people.
Watch as the tribulation unfolds. And get on your knees and pray.
If as a journalist you post anything that questions freedom you have completely lost your shit