gideon.rachman@ft.com on the imperative ‘It’s time for a liberal fightback’. Old Socialist comments

The  ‘as if’ of his the latest political/economic intervention with the comic bellicose frame of It’s time for a liberal fightback’ signals the abandonment of Liberalism’s revered rationality? Two books, in the political worldview of Mr. Rachman, do not exist:

Liberalism: A Counter-History by Domenico Losurdo

https://www.versobooks.com/books/960-liberalism

And the revelatory history of The Economist, that even mentions Mr. Rachman, as part of the Posh Boy Network, that supplies newspapers with the apologists for a political present, ruled by the variant of ‘Liberalism’ named ‘Neo-Liberalism’   :

Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist by Alexander Zevin

https://www.versobooks.com/books/3090-liberalism-at-large

Mr. Rachman in high dungeon, another seriocomic moment, in extended play. The Enemies of the Moment ‘ nationalist right and radical left’  :

If the liberal creed had entered this crisis with broad popular support and understanding, it would be easier to ensure that all these infringements on freedom are temporary. But the opposite is the case. Liberalism has had a miserable decade, with the financial crisis and its aftermath turning “liberal” into a term of abuse for both the nationalist right and the radical left.

Another book ‘Europe Since 1989’ by Philipp Ther , in its Chapters:   4 titled ‘Getting On The Neo-Liberal Bandwagon’ &  5 Second -Wave Neo-Liberalism explains in detail the toxicity of Neo-Liberal’s benighted reign in Mitteleuropa.

Another ‘as if’ : Colloque Walter Lippmann of 1938 didn’t mark the alliance of ‘Liberalism’ with ‘Neo-Liberalism’! Mr. Rachman defensive anger , that morphs into rhetorical bellicosity, at those who expose this benighted history, is not unexpected from a member of  a very exclusive club of apologists! But this next paragraph is part of an almost canny acceptance, of the other’s arguments, an expression of ‘Liberalism’ argumentative tolerance?   

The liberal willingness to see the other side of the argument, mocked by Frost, means I am happy to accept that the critiques of both left and right have some merit. The liberal urge to roll back the frontiers of the state has contributed to increased economic insecurity in the west. And the right is correct to say that many liberals were too relaxed about the consequences of globalisation. 

My patience with Mr. Rachman’s political intervention is at its end. But I can’t resist quoting this sentence, a kind of wan apologetic for Tony Blair: possibly a representative of  the Liberalism/Neo-Liberalism that he defends as the epitome of political rationalism?

But Tony Blair — also often accused of “neoliberalism” — supported higher public spending and redistributive taxation.

I’ll close my comment with this collection of telling sentence fragments: a collection of his closely held beliefs/suppositions that define his ‘Liberalism’ from the remainder of Rachman’s angry polemic, as representative of Liberal Rationalism?  

Sensible liberals understand that…, But, real liberals differ from the communitarians of the far right and far left…, That means liberals also know …, That belief in the universal rights of man…, As the extremes of the left and the right limber up…, …liberals do not believe in destroying their enemies.   

Old Leftist 

https://www.ft.com/content/07f29a7e-9363-11ea-abcd-371e24b679ed

 

 

 

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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