Zack Beauchamp on the Defenders and Critics of Liberalism

In his well researched article – The anti-liberal moment – Zack Beauchamp sees liberalism as the political center. He wants to defend liberalism, in part because he does not think prominent liberals are doing a very good job in this regard.

Unfortunately, he does not get around to presenting his own defense of center-liberalism, but he does provide a well organized analysis.

Nevertheless, this is a good example of critical thinking, IMO. Beauchamp provides a very nice analysis of political thought from thinkers/writers on the left, center, and right. It’s an example of how one goes about analyzing the perspectives of the various “blind men” in the story of the Blind Men and the Elephant.

Here is an outline of the thinkers covered in The anti-liberal moment:

I. Introduction: defenders and critics of liberalism
  • Carl Schmitt
  • Adrian Vermeule
  • Nancy Fraser
  • John Locke
  • John Rawls
  • Amartya Sen
  • Viktor Orban
II. The left’s challenge to neo-liberalism
  • Pankaj Mishra
  • Adolph Reed Jr.
  • Nancy Fraser
  • David Harvey
  • Naomi Klein
  • Peter Frase
III. The right’s challenge to liberalism
  • Patrick Deneen
  • Adrian Vermeule
  • Josh Hawley
  • Viktor Orbán
  • Ryzard Legutko
  • Rod Dreher
IV. The inadequacy of the liberal response (so far)
  • Steven Pinker – the world is actually getting better
  • Adam Gopnik – liberalism can repair itself
  • Mark Lilla – critique of the politically correct left and identity politics
V. Conclusion: liberalism needs to defend itself by reinventing itself


Beauchamp, Zack

The anti-liberal moment
Critics on the left and right are waging war on liberalism.
And liberals don’t seem to have a good defense.
By Zack Beauchamp
9 September 2019

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