Summary: Here anthropologist Maximilian Forte announces the death of liberalism. Hillary’s defeat, despite its massive financing and support by America’s major institutions, was a sign. The ineffective street festivals of Occupy Wall Street and the Women’s March are signs. The lack of meaningful response to the revelations about NSA surveillance is a sign, as was the ineffective widespread perjuries and murders by police. It has died of exhaustion, ground down by the implacable opposition and fantastic resources of the 1% — and our indifference. But every political philosophy is a phoenix. It will rise again, eventually.
“The Dying Days of Liberalism” — Part one of three.
By Maximilian C. Forte from Zero Anthropology, 18 January 2017.
Reposted with his generous permission.
How Orthodoxy, Professionalism, and Unresponsive Politics
Finally Doomed a 19th-century Project.
What a sight to behold. These are the dying days, counting down soon to the final hours, of the defeated political project of liberalism, inherited from the 19th-century. The centre — if there ever was one — could not hold after all. What a thing it is to watch one of the dominant, cornerstone ideologies of the international system, which has strutted its stuff with such swagger and certainty since the end of the Cold War, finally fall face forward into the dustbin of history. It has fallen with the same force as if shoved from behind by a stampeding mob, although its defenders will claim that mere “mistakes” were made, as if they accidentally slipped on history’s largest ever banana peel. And what a scene: who would have expected such a lack of dignity, such pathetic hysteria, such baseless smears, such empty threats, coming from those who otherwise elaborately preened themselves as gallant statesmen, who spoke as if they had cornered the market on “reason”. While the fall could have been worse, there has not been an absence of violence, threats, boycotts, and even calls of treason designed to delegitimize the voters’ choice.
Liberal democracy has been reduced to a shell, more a name than a fact that deserves the name. For many years, liberalism has been liberal authoritarianism or post-liberalism or neoliberalism, with a high elitist disdain for democracy and a fear of the masses everywhere.
- Promises of inclusion, fairness, and welfare, were replaced by sensitive-sounding rhetorical tricks and tokenism. Moral narcissism, virtue signalling, identity politics, and building patchwork quilts of diversity were the order of the day.
- Protests were encouraged abroad, against target nations, in the name of democracy promotion — but at home, protests were shut down by an always more militarized police. Nations around the world were lectured about transparency and accountability, but at home it was all about mass surveillance, domestic espionage, and a crackdown on whistleblowers.
- Liberal leaders claimed to be upholders of peace and order, while multiplying the number of wars. Obama himself is personally responsible for the killing of thousands, many of them civilians — in 2016 alone, the US dropped 72 bombs every day on average, in wars in seven countries.
- Obama oversaw the rapid acceleration of wealth transfer, and heightened domestic poverty, and then he is praised by pseudo-left liberal scholars and writers for having “governed well” and doing so with a professional, graceful demeanour.
The North American and European left, which made its peace and came to a bargain with liberal imperialism, sinks with those who in the end rewarded them with so little. Once again leftist social imperialismresults in failure as it lays the foundations for its replacement.