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Why Liberalism Failed

Narrated by: Brian Holsopple
Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Has liberalism failed because it has succeeded?

Of the three dominant ideologies of the 20th century - fascism, communism, and liberalism - only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism's proponents tend to forget that it is an ideology and not the natural end-state of human political evolution. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: It trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor of privatism; and in its pursuit of individual autonomy, it has given rise to the most far-reaching, comprehensive state system in human history.

Here, Deneen offers an astringent warning that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure.

©2018 Patrick J. Deneen (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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Smart man w/ a grim view, but insufficient support

The author has an interesting and surprising claim, and withsome merit. I gained many new interesting insights and appreciate the book for that. However Deneen lumps classic liberalism together with modern progressive liberalism and declares them both failures. He also lumps conservatism and libertarianism in with classic liberalism. He gives some examples for progressive liberalism but really only one for classic liberalism in which he declares free market ideas to be a failure. He specifically points to the 2008 mortgage crisis and financial meltdown as a market failure, but many economists think that was substantially due to government meddling (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). The narration was also flat, almost monotone. I hung onto the book for most of the chapters, hoping Deneen would support his case with facts and examples. His ideas are intriguing and flow against most modern streams of thought. But I gave up on the audible book just short of his conclusion. It was too much work to listen for too little gain. Still. I'm glad I encountered Mr. Deneen. But I wouldn't recommend the book to a friend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Christanity vs Secularism, Traditions Count

It appears to the most casual observer we have taken personal rights as far as Liberalism will allow without offering personal restrain as a possible remedy to the seven deadly sins.
We have been blessed beyond measure as a nation, and yet we strive to have more of everything to fill the void left by having everything.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Liberty After Liberalism

This book asks the big questions and gets to some plausible answers by the end, too. If you want to know what it means to be free today, give it a listen.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Important Read for All

This was a great and eye opening book, especially when Deneen compares the modern vs ancient ideas of liberty. You will appreciate his outside the “allegorical cave” point of view shining light on one of our most deeply held values - liberalism. Unfortunately, those who really need to read this book will not, but I and anyone who else who has read this no doubt greatly benefited from it.

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Long and boring.

Too long to gets to its point. A few good nuggets of gold but I would not read again.

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a fine idea stuffed in a dead horse and beat

self satisfied and needlessly verbose, the entire premise, while interesting, could be boiled easily down to a couple hundred words. the lack of useful or even insightful conclusions, though one is nominally attempted, is additionally disappointing.

a worthy idea as food for thought, but a waste of words in this format, and hard to listen to due to the overwrought academic prose

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Plausible connection between the two liberalism's

Well reasoned. Reading a little too textbookish. I still listened all the way through, as the content was worth considering. This book may not be well received by rugged individualists. Certainly not by anyone who has bought into the all powerful central state. Deneen, I think, sought to detail the roots and evaluate the fruits of liberalism, and, finally, to start the conversation about how to practically move into a post-liberal world.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A rant without any backing

I was hoping to find some real information about the issues of liberalism. I was very disappointed. There were many statements that were not supported by any facts. The definition of what he thought liberalism was was nowhere to be found. That is usually a bad sign.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric
  • Muskegon, MI
  • 09-03-18

A neoreactionary malthusian jeremiad

Author longs for a fantasy vision of a restored ideal past that never existed. Too many contradictory stances such as the lament of the lack of families with children but at the same time adopts an apocalyptic ecological vision of resource depletion. Author blames individualism for the rise of the statism though the state has been with us since antiquity. He should be grateful he isn't living in the middle ages where he would likely grown up as an illiterate peaseant and be dead at his current age.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Charlieobree
  • 09-11-18

Amazing Book

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants or needs to understand our current society in the West. I liked that it critically analysed our western liberal society. I liked how it looked the problems of the left and right sides of politics. A must read for anyone who wants to be involved in politics, religion, social science, education, economics, business or community development.