The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command (Paperback)
When it comes to liberalism, the usual story in postwar America is one of decline, accompanied by the subplot of conservatism’s ascendance. But take a longer view—look beyond and below politics—and it is the unchallenged triumph of liberalism and its philosophical assumptions that ought to command our attention.
The triumph of liberalism means the tyranny of liberalism, explains James Kalb in this illuminating book, for liberalism is the extension into the sociopolitical realm of modern scientific thought and technological rationality. These modes of thinking are regarded by nearly everyone today as uniquely authoritative; those institutions and beliefs which do not conform are regarded at best as annoyances, and at worst as evil. Furthermore, Kalb shows how liberalism is an expression of the interests and outlook of commercial and managerial elites, who are suspicious of less rationalized and controllable forms of social organization like the family.
Kalb does not merely rehearse a tale of woe, nor is he content simply to analyze the current situation. With reference to concrete issues such as the debate surrounding same-sex marriage, he outlines the kind of traditionalist response to liberalism that is likely to be most effective. He argues that traditional, decentralized, and nonliberal forms of social organization are ultimately impossible to eradicate, and he shows how more human forms of association than those favored by liberalism might once again be brought into being.
About the Author
James Kalb, who holds degrees from Dartmouth College and Yale University, is a lawyer and independent scholar whose reviews and essays on political thought have appeared in various journals in the United States and Europe, including Modern Age and Telos. Kalb blogs (http://turnabout.ath.cx:8000), lives, and works in Brooklyn, New York.
"The title of this book may seem oxymoronic, which testifies to how completely the regime of freedom and equality that liberalism claims to be has triumphed over other sociopolitical ideas. . . . Without any specialist jargon, reams of statistics, or heavy-handed anecdotes, Kalb makes us see how all the ills of liberalism logically proceed from its deliberate philosophical poverty. Preparatory to liberalism's demise, he suggests adopting a traditionalist outlook and resuming the loyalties and the functions liberal hegemony has tried so hard to suppress and usurp."—Ray OlsonBooklist