The paradoxes of liberalism.
Western Liberalism is in crisis. Originally conceived as a moderate and tolerant ideology is now caving in on itself. Instead of promoting a set of ideas that are inclusive and open-minded, Liberalism today is unwilling and unable to accept any other worldviews. Essentially it has become a form of political extremism mirroring Islam’s jihadist fanatics found in the Middle East and beyond. In fact, both provide the ideological oxygen each needs to survive.
Liberalism is suffering the same fate of other modern Western ideologies, namely Socialism and various forms of Nationalism. Each presented themselves as competing alternatives to the status quo, i.e. the establishment of the time. Each initially aspired to be inclusive. Once each achieved a degree of political traction and legitimacy, elements within each sought to monopolize politics and power. This result was the totalitarian temptation.…History is dialectical, testing various solutions to social, political and economic challenges. Liberalism arose in 18th century Europe with the Enlightenment and its cause was greatly boosted by the founding of the United States of America on liberal principles.
It was wrongly believed that this was "exceptional," "indispensable," and "the end of history." Time rolls on, conditions changed, and new challenges arise calling for fresh solutions. The world is again that a juncture but not yet at the junction between the old and the new.
There is no way to "reform" an 18th century solution to make it suitable for the 21st century. The past shapes the future by contributing its lessons, both successes and failures. But it is for the present to take on the emerging challenges of the near future.
Since global society is a complex adaptive system, there is no way to predict from the past what the future will bring. History doesn't repeat itself in a circular fashion but rather develops as a spiral, making leaps that are only dimly seen at the horizon.
The sooner the West ceases to impose an 18th century narrative on globalization, liberalism can contribute to the transformation that is taking place as communications and transportation technology shrink the world without attempting to dominate the process, which leads to conflict.
Collapse of the Radical Liberal Order
The gathering in Conference Room 3.101 of the Bundestag’s ultra-modern Paul-Loebe Haus on Friday, 16 December was described by its organizers from the Détente Now! / Neue Entspannungspolitik Jetzt! Initiative as a press briefing to officially launch the initiative in Germany. Détente Now! had already had its debut in the USA the week before with an op-ed article in the iconic Progressive weekly magazine of commentary, The Nation. The launch on two continents was meant to draw attention to the overarching objective of establishing a new peaceful Atlanticism to replace the Neocon-dominated Atlantic Alliance that has developed over the past two decades in a malignant way, bringing us into a New Cold War and, in the estimation of some of us, to the brink of a hot war.Une parole franche
Berlin Diary: 16 December 2016