After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State

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Overview

In this trenchant challenge to social engineering, Paul Gottfried analyzes a patricide: the slaying of nineteenth-century liberalism by the managerial state. Many people, of course, realize that liberalism no longer connotes distributed powers and bourgeois moral standards, the need to protect civil society from an encroaching state, or the virtues of vigorous self-government. Many also know that today's "liberals" have far different goals from those of their predecessors, aiming as they do largely to combat prejudice, to provide social services and welfare benefits, and to defend expressive and "lifestyle" freedoms. Paul Gottfried does more than analyze these historical facts, however. He builds on them to show why it matters that the managerial state has replaced traditional liberalism: the new regimes of social engineers, he maintains, are elitists, and their rule is consensual only in the sense that it is unopposed by any widespread organized opposition.

Throughout the western world, increasingly uprooted populations unthinkingly accept centralized controls in exchange for a variety of entitlements. In their frightening passivity, Gottfried locates the quandary for traditionalist and populist adversaries of the welfare state. How can opponents of administrative elites show the public that those who provide, however ineptly, for their material needs are the enemies of democratic self-rule and of independent decision making in family life? If we do not wake up, Gottfried warns, the political debate may soon be over, despite sporadic and ideologically confused populist rumblings in both Europe and the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

Forbes Magazine - Peter Brimelow
The central fact of the nineteenth century was the emergence of the working class. The central fact of the twentieth century is the emergence of a managerial "New Class" elite, reshaping all modern democracies in its own interest. Gottfried's is a gold-standard analysis of this extraordinary phenomenon, heavily encrusted with sparkling jewels of intellectual history.
Society - Paul Seaton
Well-written, very learned, and informative. . . .
From the Publisher

"After Liberalism is no angry screed, but a dense, probing work full of insight from the author's seeming encyclopedic knowledge of Western thought."--World

"The central fact of the nineteenth century was the emergence of the working class. The central fact of the twentieth century is the emergence of a managerial "New Class" elite, reshaping all modern democracies in its own interest. Gottfried's is a gold-standard analysis of this extraordinary phenomenon, heavily encrusted with sparkling jewels of intellectual history."--Peter Brimelow, Senior Editor, Forbes Magazine

"Well-written, very learned, and informative. . . ."--Paul Seaton, Society

World
After Liberalism is no angry screed, but a dense, probing work full of insight from the author's seeming encyclopedic knowledge of Western thought.
Forbes Magazine
The central fact of the nineteenth century was the emergence of the working class. The central fact of the twentieth century is the emergence of a managerial "New Class" elite, reshaping all modern democracies in its own interest. Gottfried's is a gold-standard analysis of this extraordinary phenomenon, heavily encrusted with sparkling jewels of intellectual history.
— Peter Brimelow, Senior Editor
Society
Well-written, very learned, and informative. . . .
— Paul Seaton
World
After Liberalism is no angry screed, but a dense, probing work full of insight from the author's seeming encyclopedic knowledge of Western thought.
Forbes Magazine
The central fact of the nineteenth century was the emergence of the working class. The central fact of the twentieth century is the emergence of a managerial "New Class" elite, reshaping all modern democracies in its own interest. Gottfried's is a gold-standard analysis of this extraordinary phenomenon, heavily encrusted with sparkling jewels of intellectual history.
— Peter Brimelow, Senior Editor
W.C. Johnson
Liberalism as known in 19th-century America and Europe has long departed, an historical development often described and now again lamented by Gottfried. . In the process Gottfried warns, not only liberty but the cultural distinctiveness on which this nation was built will be lost. His wide-ranging survey of European and American views covers advocates of the new liberalism such as John Dewey and the libertarian and populist critics of this trend. This is clearly polemic but one well-documented from both sides of the argument.
Choice Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691089829
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/2/2001
  • Series: New Forum Books Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents


Introduction vii
CHAPTER ONE
In Search of a Liberal Essence 3
CHAPTER TWO
Liberalism vs. Democracy 30
CHAPTER THREE
Public Administration and Liberal Democracy 49
CHAPTER FOUR
Pluralism and Liberal Democracy 72
CHAPTER FIVE
Mass Democracy and the Populist Alternative 110
CONCLUSION 135
Notes 143
Index 177
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