What made Franklin Roosevelt and the Greatest Generation great? Others may tell you it was defeating Nazism in a worldwide war. But Harvey J. Kaye, Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin, maintains that its heart and soul was none other than the Popular Front.
This next episode of Liberty Law Talk is a discussion with author and professor Grant Havers on his conservative critique of Leo Strauss. Many conservatives hold Strauss in high regard as a thinker who shaped their intellectual commitments. Havers discusses the question: what's so conservative about Strauss' philosophy? Havers' recent book Leo Strauss and Anglo-American Democracy: A Conservative Critique contends that Strauss was a liberal Cold War warrior who most wanted to defend the foundational principles of British and American democracy. Going to the heart of Strauss' philosophical principles and his grounding of modern constitutional liberty in classical Greek political thought,…
So what is “liberalism” today? Is it a mere grab-bag of miscellaneous policy preferences, or some coherent thing, with an intelligible cause and purpose?
In an ambitious project, historians Donald T. Critchlow and W.J. Rorabaugh aim to answer these questions. In their book, Takeover: How the Left’s Quest for Social Justice Corrupted Liberalism, the authors argue that contemporary liberalism represents an coherent political project that was launched in the 1960s by the “New Progressives.” These reformers rejected the modest aims of the old liberals, who, according to the Critchlow and Rorabaugh, had sought merely to mitigate the evils of industrial capitalism. Instead, the New Progressives aimed for a comprehensive transformation of the American economy and even the whole society, by means of a massive expansion in the size and scope of the government. Consequently, today’s liberal agenda “is much more radical and encompassing.”