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Why Liberalism Failed$
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Patrick J. Deneen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300223446

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300223446.001.0001

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date: 29 November 2021

Introduction: The End of Liberalism

Introduction: The End of Liberalism

(p.1) Introduction: The End of Liberalism
Why Liberalism Failed

Patrick J. Deneen

Yale University Press

This book argues that almost all of the promises that were made by the proponents of liberalism have not come to fruition. These promises range from limited but effective government to rule of law, an independent judiciary, responsive public officials, and free and fair elections. After being conceived as a political philosophy some 500 years ago, and put into effect at the birth of the United States nearly 250 years later, liberalism appears to have failed—not because it fell short, but because it was true to itself. In practice, liberalism promotes gross inequality, enforces uniformity and homogeneity, fosters material and spiritual degradation, and undermines freedom. Its vision of human liberty seems increasingly to be a taunt rather than a promise. The book highlights the failings of liberalism in four distinct but connected areas of our common life: politics and government, economics, education, and science and technology.

Keywords:   liberalism, political philosophy, inequality, freedom, liberty, politics, government, economics, education, science

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