Tag Archives: liberalism

On the Conjuncture II

The prevailing liberal consensus has failed. By this I mean the ideas, visions, plans for the future held by the leading liberal politicians and intellectuals in many countries – my writing so far has only focused on India, the UK, and the US – have come to nothing. Within their own terms, within the presuppositions that they are committed to; they have no idea what more they can do to win elections. Winning elections to govern more sympathetically than conservative parties has been their main claim to legitimacy against left critiques.

The quickly diminishing leading liberal party in India, the Indian National Congress, is committed to dynasty rule that has automatically, and rightly, ruled out its credibility amongst most of the electorate. Ed Miliband’s Labour tried to square the circle of offering economic competence, technocratic verbiage (‘predistribution’ matches ‘trumped up trickle down’ for rhetorical futility), and anti-immigrant sentiment to find that more or less the same package was more slickly, and believably, sold by the Tories. Clinton’s slick, data-driven campaign lost handily to a man who can’t finish a sentence. Why?

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Filed under Europe, India, Politics, UK, US Politics

If Bernie had won

One silver lining of Clinton’s victory in the Democratic Primary is that American liberals and media figures have been able to maintain the healthy and absolutely necessary fiction that there is an unbridgeable chasm of political difference between themselves and Donald Trump. Can you imagine what would have happened if, in some sequence of unimaginable events Bernie Sanders had won the Democratic nomination?

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Filed under US Politics