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Lecture 11

Lecture 11 New Liberalism.pdf

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HIST 121

Lecture 11: New Liberalisms 1. Intro “Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the rest” (Winston Churchill, Nov 1947) Liberalism looked nearly dead in early 20 century, many believed it could not survive Modern liberalism is pessimistic Not all liberal in the same way, conservative, liberal, libertarian, etc. 2. Liberalism Challenged A. World War 1 and the “War Machine” the mobilization and effectiveness in productivity and manufacturing led many to believe these things, planning boards, labour laws, government ownership of corps. All looked like wave of the future Also Great Depression, challenged Invisible Hand, created great need to solutions and regulation and gov. intervention B. The Ideological Challenge of Communism and Fascism Self-interested liberal style of politics coming under attack Liberal political rights had gone too far, too much chaos, communism/socialism provided people with meaning rather than challenging them to act as individuals Much came into question C. The Cold War In the aftermath of WW2, western liberalism was challenged geopolitically, emergence of bipolar world and satellite states Iron Curtain, Soviet threat emerges, both imagined and real 3. The First Response: A New Liberalism a. The State and the Economy: John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) The End of Laissez-Faire (1927) Liberalism which seeks to take criticisms and adapt its approach to government in the economy, left or government centered liberalism Trying to steer a middle course, rescue liberalism from Marxism but adapt some of its better ideas “It is not a correct deduction from the principles of economics that enlightened self-interest always operates in the public interest. Nor is it true that self-interest is generally enlightened…Experience does not show that individiduals, when they make up a social unit, are always less clear sighted than when they act separately.” The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936) Criticized invisible hand Don’t want to solve economic issues through dictatorship and cost of freedoms, but rescue capitalism, government needs to intercede when things get rough Government should borrow money in order to spend it and engage in deficit spending, spending more than it has to employ unemployed, create public works programs, that sort of thing, any will do, including war, which he specifically noted Government spending could revive populace’s desire and ability to spend Seemed to be validated by aftermath of WW2’s investment into the rebuilding of Europe and the Marshall Plan, which was Keynesian to perfection C (consumer spending) +I (investment) + G (Government spending) = Y (aggregate demand) The rise of welfare state liberalism which is similar to Keynesianism We consider it a natural role of government to create a safety net for citizens of sorts B. The New Individual: John Dewey (1859-1952) :Individualism: Old and New” (1929) Political, not just economic: problem not just economic but that the entire theory had become stale, too rigidly applied with 19 century principles, had become tradionalism and conservatism “In the first place, such liberalism knows that an individual is nothing fixed, given ready- made. It is something achieved, and achieved not in isolation but with the aid and support of conditions, cultural and physical:--including in “cultural” economic, legal and political institutions as well as science and art.” Old liberalism placed tremendous emphasis on negative liberty, in the modern world, this isn’t enough The modern industrial workplace created a kind of regimented mechanical unity, mindless enforced discipline that eliminated individuality, only lonely isolated individualism remains For Dewey true individuals are created in a society which creates and nutures them, not by a government that just protects the capacity Very vague about what a full formed individual is, deliberately so, did not want to provide a Marxist cookie-cutter model with certain criteria; he wanted every generation to decide its own values, nutured through government institutions “Liberalism knows that social conditions may restrict, distort and almost prevent the development of individuality… It is as much interested in the positive construction of favorable institutions, legal, political and economic as it is in removing abuses and overt oppressions.” 4. The Second New Liberalism: Neo-Liberalism, neo-Conservatism A. The Crisis of Marxism Nikita Khrushchev, 1956, “Secret Speech” Neo-liberals argued that government intervention into liberalism was a corruption of liberalism that destroyed its true purpose/meaning Note that Soviet work camps were actually not productive, drain on resources In the Secret Speech he detailed all the worst details of the
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