Whence the New Republic?-Matt Welch At Reason: ‘The Death of Contrarianism’

Full piece here.

In the age of Obama, Matt Welch suggests a return to neo-liberalism, as he notes that some liberal journalists have gone full progressive.  He tracks this phenomenon at the link:

‘The great irony is that The New Republic is repudiating contrarian neoliberalism precisely when we need it most. Obama proposes in his State of the Union address to jack up the minimum wage to $9 an hour, and instead of surveying the vast skeptical academic literature, or asking (pace Charles Peters) whether such liberal gestures are “more about preserving their own gains than about helping those in need,” TNR columnist Timothy Noah declares, “Raise the Minimum Wage! And make it higher than what Obama just proposed.”

Facebook money is now powering the The New Republic, which has been a center-Left publication.  I went through the archives on this site and found many thoughtful links.  Adam Kirsch, Simon Blackburn, Martha Nussbaum, John Gray.  Here are a few:  Leon Wieseltier At The New Republic: ‘A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher’Adam Kirsch At The New Republic: ‘Art Over Biology’

Many folks have lately jumped aboard the progressive train, powered by Civil Rights logic and the activist playbook.  The new New Republic, it seems, is no exception.

When you get a look at the political engine powering this train, it’s partially a coalition of green activists, feminists, unions, black folks, same-sex marriage supporters, many Hispanics, and last election still enough of mainstream suburbia.

How is Welch defining neo-liberalism?:

“Charles Peters summed up some of these ideas in “A Neoliberal’s Manifesto,” a 1983 Washington Monthly piece that reads today like a message from a different liberal planet. “We no longer automatically favor unions and big government or oppose the military and big business,” he wrote. “Liberalism has become a movement of those who have arrived, who care more about preserving their own gains than about helping those in need.”

Food for thought.


From this site, a definition of neo-conservatism, expanded from Charles Kesler:

3. Neoconservatives–Often coming from backgrounds of academic social science, chased away from the New Left and ‘mugged by reality’, Kesler’s neoconservatives would include Norman Podhoretz, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, and James Q. Wilson.  On Kesler’s view, they come to distrust ideology, rationalist political theory and have been persuaded by the fact/value distinction. Doubts are bred from within the social sciences and political sciences about how one can be sure of what one knows, especially when that knowledge becomes a source for public policy and a way for a few people to run the lives of many others.

Black Panthers?: See Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic: That Party At Lenny’s for a rich account of the 60′s.

Related On This SiteMonday Quotation From Charles Kesler And A Few Thoughts on Conservatism…Race And Free Speech-From Volokh: ‘Philadelphia Mayor Suggests Magazine Article on Race Relations Isn’t Protected by the First Amendment’

What about black people held in bondage by the laws..the liberation theology of Rev Wright…the progressive vision and the folks over at the Nation gathered piously around John Brown’s body?: Milton Friedman Via Youtube: ‘Responsibility To The Poor’……Robert George And Cornel West At Bloggingheads: “The Scandal Of The Cross”

The classical liberal tradition…looking for classical liberals in the postmodern wilderness: Isaiah Berlin’s negative liberty: A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”… From George Monbiot: ‘How Freedom Became Tyranny’…Looking to supplant religion as moral source for the laws: From The Reason Archives: ‘Discussing Disgust’ Julian Sanchez Interviews Martha Nussbaum.New liberty away from Hobbes?: From Public Reason: A Discussion Of Gerald Gaus’s Book ‘The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom And Morality In A Diverse And Bounded World’…Richard Rorty tried to tie postmodernism and leftist solidarity to liberalism, but wasn’t exactly classically liberal:  Repost: Another Take On J.S. Mill From “Liberal England”

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