Regime Change: Toward a Postliberal Future (Hardcover)
From Notre Dame professor and author of Why Liberalism Failed comes a provocative call for replacing the tyranny of the self-serving liberal elite with conservative leaders aligned with the interests of the working class
Classical liberalism promised to overthrow the old aristocracy, creating an order in which individuals could create their own identities and futures. To some extent it did—but it has also demolished the traditions and institutions that nourished ordinary people and created a new and exploitative ruling class. This class’s economic libertarianism, progressive values, and technocratic commitments have led them to rule for the benefit of the “few” at the expense of the “many,” precipitating our current political crises.
In Regime Change, Patrick Deneen proposes a bold plan for replacing the liberal elite and the ideology that created and empowered them. Grass-roots populist efforts to destroy the ruling class altogether are naive; what’s needed is the strategic formation of a new elite devoted to a “pre-postmodern conservatism” and aligned with the interest of the “many.” Their top-down efforts to form a new governing philosophy, ethos, and class could transform our broken regime from one that serves only the so-called meritocrats.
Drawing on the oldest lessons of the western tradition but recognizing the changed conditions that arise in liberal modernity, Deneen offers a roadmap for these changes, offering hope for progress after “progress” and liberty after liberalism.
About the Author
Patrick J. Deneen is a professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. He has previously taught at Princeton University and Georgetown University. His most recent book is Why Liberalism Failed, published in 2018, which has to date been translated into twenty languages.
“A brilliant and clarifying success, identifying a set of mechanisms by which a postliberal order might come into being. Here, as in Why Liberalism Failed, Deneen’s views will become the fixed center around which the debate revolves.”—Adrian Vermeule, Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
“This creative and courageous book takes us to the core of the American impasse. Deneen’s common-good conservatism is a gallant effort to preserve crucial aspects of our desiccated democratic tradition.”—Cornel West, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary
"Regime Change offers a sober assessment of where we are and a way forward that will challenge ideologues on all sides of the political maelstrom.”—Mary Harrington, author of Feminism Against Progress
“Deneen does more than show how our present ruling class has declared war on beauty, tradition, and the social institutions that make life worth living; he articulates a vision for a populist politics that can rebuild what has been torn down.”—J.D. Vance, U.S. Senator (R-OH)
“In Regime Change, Patrick J. Deneen expertly points us beyond the opposition between a feckless populism and a rapacious elite, toward a vision of shared purpose, mutual obligation, and truly common goods. Along the way, he reaffirms his status as the West’s most important political theorist.”—Sohrab Ahmari, founder and editor of Compact and author of Tyranny, Inc.