Liberalism and its Discontents—A Review

Yes the two authors even wrote a book about it (i follow the links usually).
Following your post, i read the article for a second time…and i see the author’s theory is basically Milton Friedman neo-liberalism with a new make-up and hairstyle.
The authors propose an intelligent way to sell neo-liberalism to the “disenchanted”, using the so-called left as the salesman, honestly it’s pure genius.
Personally i despise Milton Friedman, but i admire his intelligence, and i could say the same about the two authors of the article and the book.

Started this post by tackling some of their assertions but i deleted, would be a wall of text and when unable to synthesize what i have to say, better not say it.

Yeah its exactly like that.
As a result, a lot of people avoid tackling many subjects in public because they are afraid they will stumble upon such issues and lose friends or create unnecessary tensions. We are so polarized we are losing the ability to communicate with each other in person, and communication is one of the defining traits of humanity.
How did we get here? Internet played a role of course, but what else am i missing?
How can people restore that ability to debate face to face without hating each other?
Remember when i was a student, had such heated debates with my friends that an observer would have thought we were going to start a fight, but nope, no such thing and we were leaving the table with ruffled feathers but still friends.


That’s my favorite narrative – the plutocrats has persuaded the left to carry water for them. One need only follow the money to see the truth of it. Wokeness incubated in and spreads from Harvard and the other ivies. The bigger and more profitable and more globalist the corporation the more woke it is. Billionaires are as likely to support the Rats as the Reps.

Exactly. Very clever, no?

Divide and Rule.


There’s another way of looking at that tho. One can simply say that Team Blue are ‘the left’ and Team Red are ‘the right’ irrespective of their actual policies which can switch 180 degrees with each other. Thus the Rats, pre-Johnson, were the party of white supremacy and the Reps were the ‘good guys’, now it’s the other way ‘round, but by tradition both parties still sit on their respective sides of the chamber – there is no day when the speaker says: "Ok, everybody get up and move to the opposite side of the chamber, you guys’ policy positions have swapped, so you hafta sit accordingly." Nope, the Rats are ‘the left’ for no other reason than that’s what we call them.

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Of course this is a correct statement (sadly), but it begs the question: why?
The answer is, because people are engaging in discussions using undefined and ill-defined terms.
The result is chaos, confusion and nonsense.
How can people have a meaningful conversation about “left”, “right” and “liberalism” when these terms can mean different things to different people?
When the wannabe intellectual author of the main article is saying that neo-liberalism is a kind of liberalism…it’s hopeless.
We have clowns posing as intellectuals, who are playing with words to advance idiotic philosophical theories that make no sense.

One way to tell who has something to say and who is just trying to manipulate, is to take heed to how they are using the terms they are using.


Worse, they are passing themselves off as the party of X when they have long since become the party of Y. It’s a mess to be sure. Dunno, some say that rigor must be reapplied and that’s a noble thought, but the first question is whether or not that’s even possible what, not only with false flags and hidden agendas but with the inevitable complexity of things. At least ‘the left’ meaning the folks who sit on the left side of the chamber, AKA Team Blue, AKA the Rats – at least one is clear as to which registered party one is referring to. But even then, you have the Olde corrupt centerist Rats like Biden and your wokie activists like AOC and your opportunist billionaires like Bloomsburg and your paleo-socialists. Will the real left please stand up? Whatkanyado?

Oh yes that too.

Million dollar question.
What i did was chose to accept i didnt know and didnt understand sh*t several years ago. Then proceeded to inform and educate myself, only to find out i still didnt know and didnt understand much, so i keep looking for an elusive understanding of things, and i consider i have come a long way, but the more i understand, the more i see how much i dont know.
Oh well, its the journey not the destination, and while i know i cant do anything, the one thing i can do is not accept the situation as normality and yap my mouth.


Isn’t this what that is?

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yes, perhaps that’s what we here would want to call ‘liberalism’. You 'n me 'n @kaay would all like if if we could use that definition. But that word, along with so many others, has been borrowed, twisted and perverted until it is completely pervious and can’t contain any meaning.

We all agree that any current iteration bears little resemblance to the “classic” version.

But his criticism of the OP in that comment was in part that the term wasn’t defined. Yet it was.

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Socrates. I have the same problem. Which is why the one thing I can’t stand is fundamentalists – folks who think they have all the answers.

Let me give you an equivalent statement:
Candid to a fault, Mr.X distinguishes between apples and trees.

This is correct and Noam Chomsky has good lectures on the subject, that will take you to the process of destruction of liberal democracies conducted by means of neo-liberal ideologies that started in the 70s.

Even accepting that was a definition, the author proceeds to say neo-liberalism is a kind of liberalism, which is false, then proceeds to further the nonsense by using the term in contexts that are incompatible with the provided definition.

Liberalism died in the 70s and was replaced with neo-liberalism, which is still what we have today.
The problem is that neo-liberalism is now called liberalism. The feminist cancer that metastasized into the woke movement, is called “liberal left” in many places.

Please note how the author shifts from “modern liberal” to “contemporary critical theorists”.
Contemporary critical theorists are the feminists (feminism is a critical theory) and the critical race theorists. So the author considers them to be “modern liberal”.
Sorry but there is nothing liberal in feminism and CRT, so “modern liberal” should be taken just like “neo-liberal” namely as non-liberal ideologies that use the word “liberal” to confuse people.
Same goes for those critical theorists calling themselves “left” and “marxist”.
The purpose of using these words is to confuse not to clarify.


I’m not sure what you’re saying here. That liberalism grows on democracy, or that democracy grows on liberalism? (y’know, kinda like how apples grow on trees). I’d go with the latter of those 2.

It is ironic you’re using those terms yourself, without having defined them (that I can see or recall). So maybe you agree with the author (or the review) more than you reflexively thought?

Hmmm…I think most people here can easily make that distinction (and wouldn’t conflate the terms). Perhaps elsewhere on the intertubes, that distinction is less robust in peoples’ minds.

That’s true. That’s kinda what they are.

So really, what you want is a new term entirely. That’s fine. I get that. It’s basically what I said in the gender discussion, so i agree with the concept.


But it’s fun. :slight_smile:

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