December 17, 2019

RAGE AGAINST THE RESOLUTION:

The World The Economist Made : a review of Liberalism at Large by Alexander Zevin (PATRICK IBER, December 17, 2019, New Republic)

Today, Hobson is best remembered for his 1902 work Imperialism, the major thesis of which was cribbed by Lenin. (They agreed that the drive for empire was caused by the search for profits under capitalism.) Yet the parallels between Hobson's analysis and the widespread "crisis of liberalism" literature of our own times are striking. Hobson's '80s were not the Reagan years but the 1880s, of course, but his complaints about laissez-faire individualism find their echoes in today's critiques of neoliberalism. Even his eventual refuge feels contemporary: After trying to convince liberals to include more socially protective programs, Hobson eventually gave up and became a socialist.


That this 110-year-old complaint seems to speak to our own times is a testament both to the longevity of liberalism and to the difficulty--perhaps impossibility--of resolving its tensions. 

One would have thought the failure of Socialism and the explosive growth of the neoliberal era would have resolved the "tension."

Posted by at December 17, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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