With increasingly populist figures gaining traction across the world (even winning or nearly winning major elections), it seems as if the values of western liberalism are on the decline. But are these leaders and their policies the direct cause of populism, or rather a manifestation of years of brewing anxiety? Here to discuss this and his recent book, “The Retreat of Western Liberalism,” is Financial Times columnist and commentator Edward Luce.

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  1. I Walton Member

    This is an interesting discussion that shows me how little our elite have learned. They miss the 900 lb gorila in the room. Neither Brexit nor Trump signal retreat from liberalism, rather they are reactions to the administrative state’s fostering dysfunction and corruption, lack of adjustment, stagnation etc. Even if the populist movements supporting Trump and Brexit do not fully understand why things are so wrong, they do know that central governance by a political technocratic elite is the source of our problems. Centralized control is anti liberal, and is based on early 20th century mis understandings of economics and culture. It is soft fascism drifting toward not so soft fascism. Moreover they understand that the rules are bent to favor the elite, the rent takers. A “marshall plan for the middle class”? Give me a break. Top down technocratic solutions to everything are the problem. Yes it is a matter of continuous learning and adjustment, but that comes from greater freedom not centralized control. To allow the thing to actually work for rehiring the displaced and grow the economy we’d need to eliminate minimum wages, or any other barrier that makes hiring or firing, start up, getting financing more difficult, so that emergent business easily comes into existence and can hire and train whoever they want for what ever they need paying whatever they can. This mind set must penetrate everything. Otherwise the drift toward soft fascism continues, the stagnation continues and the rent takers grow at everybody else expense. Any centralized program, like a Marshall plan for the middle clase will make it all worse.

    • #1
    • June 14, 2017, at 6:07 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. patpongmike Inactive

    need a “dislike” button, in addition to the “like” button.

    On the contrary, it is the 8 years of Obama that have destroyed America’s standing in the world. America must recover from Obama. Too early to tell on Trump, but his trashing the Paris Climate Nonsense warmed the cockles of my heart.

    • #2
    • June 14, 2017, at 6:35 AM PDT
    • 2 likes