The Twilight of Bourgeois Liberalism

Most people, including me, would date the origin of leftism’s link to neoliberalism to the alliance of Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin in the early 1990’s. However in this Atlantic piece, Matt Stoller dates it much earlier, to the early 1970’s.

Liberalism came to mean something a lot different in the 1960’s than it had before. Leftists had always been in favor of protecting the lower classes economically. But as the 20th century went by, they became more and more concerned with what have to be considered moral issues, although they weren’t always framed as such.

Civil rights was sometimes presented as a matter of good governance, the full participation of citizens, but was mostly presented as a matter of morality. The Vietnam War was sometimes presented as a bad policy choice, but was usually criticized as just evil. Sexual liberation, from contraception to the decriminalization of homosexuality, was sometimes a libertarian issue of maximum personal freedom but was usually presented as a moral necessity.

Affluent people slowly went from being businessmen who were mostly interested in making money to professionals who were in the business of telling people how to behave. Widespread prosperity meant the working class didn’t need much help, so economic issues became almost irrelevant by the end of the Vietnam War.

At the same time though their increasing affluence made progressive professionals see things like libertarian businessmen- the economy should be free, to serve them.

Jimmy Carter was the most annoyingly moralistic man to be President, and his record is regarded poorly by most. A journalist who worked for him, James Fallows, posted a thread on Twitter recently listing Carter’s accomplishments.

What they were, were things like appointing Paul Volcker to the Fed chairmanship- the first monetarist in the job, who crushed inflation by crushing the economy- and airline deregulation. I can’t find the thread and don’t remember the complete list, but it was all neoliberal economic policy.

This seems strange for a liberal, but this economic consensus was there before Ronald Reagan, and he only pushed it a little farther.

So for decades liberals have been forcing the problems created by one bad group or another down our throats, while laughing all the way to the bank. But what can’t go on forever, won’t go on forever. They have run out of victims to bother us with- people can stomach gays, but not transexuals, and are long past tired of blacks. “Free market” policies that benefit only the rich have also reached their logical end, since people are now too broke to buy anything.

The next left will be economic and only as rainbow-colored as it has to be. Wall Street will not call the shots any more. The age of bourgeois liberalism is over.

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About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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5 Responses to The Twilight of Bourgeois Liberalism

  1. Pingback: The Twilight of Bourgeois Liberalism | @the_arv

  2. Pingback: The Twilight of Bourgeois Liberalism - Top

  3. J. Junger says:

    Bernie, as old as he is, is probably the harbinger of things to come (he tracked well with a large block of disaffected young white males, and while the overlap between Trump and Bernie supporters was a bone of contention, it was real). Bernie lost a lot of people who were willing to give him a chance, though, when he literally ceded the stage to two obnoxious black girls at one of his rallies, and, despite his brash personality, he tucked his tail between his legs and started saying, “Black lives matter,” rather than “All lives matter.” If you look at the voting patterns of Generation Z, we are pretty close to explicit racial identity politics for everyone, including whites.

  4. jb says:

    “And its accomplishments are impressive. As late as 1995, a majority of Americans did not approve of interracial marriage. Today, gay marriage is the law of the land, and intermarriage rates are high and growing. Culturally, the United States is a far more tolerant and open society.”

    It is to laugh. Caligula makes war on the sea. The fact that this author sees these things as impressive, instead of the gossamer hobbies and follies of a spoiled, delusional elite who are rapidly squandering their inheritance is a large part of the problem. Modern Western leftism equals white hating racism, full stop. For most of the white members of this coalition that racism is largely class warfare by another means. (For the non-white members it’s straight hate and fear and exploitation.) Open borders and multiculturalism have changed America from a reasonably coherent nation to a fragmented empire where people (other than whites) vote as racial blocs. It’s this adoption of a non-white proletariat as a racial/class weapon against the white middle and lower classes that is causing the decline. Multicultural empires are inherently unstable, always corrupt and generally oppressive, and third-world populations produce third-world societies, no amount of dicking with the banking system will change all that. To sum up, the cart is before the horse: the political left becoming anti-white is the root of our problems, centralizing wealth and power is an offshoot of that obsessive hatred. Anti-populism in not only class bigotry, it is white-hating racism by another name.

  5. America hasn’t moved an inch. Opinions do not matter. What you see is the system collapsing. Censorship is hardly a sign of strength. Charlottesville was a sign of desperation. A set up with all the bad actors in place and IT BLEW UP IN THEIR FACE. Its so bad they have to tell Antifa to shut up Civil War II has started. Future Historians will say its Charlottesville. It was. Now the sides are forming. This dying system is shopping for a war. They are broke and they want their dummypuppen Trump to send as many White Guys to shoot ANYONE ELSE AS POSSIBLE. They cannot get back to profitable. Money is ALL THEY HAVE.

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