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The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command
by James Kalb
Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2008
Cloth: 978-1-933859-74-3 | Paper: 978-1-933859-82-8
Library of Congress Classification JC574.2.U6K35 2008

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS
ABOUT THIS BOOK
When it comes to liberalism, the usual story in postwar America is one of decline, accompanied by the subplot of conservatism’s ascendance. But take a longer view—look beyond and below politics—and it is the unchallenged triumph of liberalism and its philosophical assumptions that ought to command our attention.

The triumph of liberalism means the tyranny of liberalism, explains James Kalb in this illuminating book, for liberalism is the extension into the sociopolitical realm of modern scientific thought and technological rationality. These modes of thinking are regarded by nearly everyone today as uniquely authoritative; those institutions and beliefs which do not conform are regarded at best as annoyances, and at worst as evil. Furthermore, Kalb shows how liberalism is an expression of the interests and outlook of commercial and managerial elites, who are suspicious of less rationalized and controllable forms of social organization like the family.

Kalb does not merely rehearse a tale of woe, nor is he content simply to analyze the current situation. With reference to concrete issues such as the debate surrounding same-sex marriage, he outlines the kind of traditionalist response to liberalism that is likely to be most effective. He argues that traditional, decentralized, and nonliberal forms of social organization are ultimately impossible to eradicate, and he shows how more human forms of association than those favored by liberalism might once again be brought into being.
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