The Great Liberal Death Wish: Four Ways the Political Establishment is Failing America

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Thank you for your interest You will be notified when this product will be in stock. I agree to the. Terms and Conditions. How It Works? IMEI Number. Exchange Discount Summary Exchange Discount -Rs. Final Price Rs. Locke, a devout Christian, was not regarded as a philosopher of liberalism until the early twentieth century. The Economist proudly enlists itself in this combative Anglo-American tradition, having vigorously claimed to be advancing the liberal cause since its founding. Using The Economist as a proxy for liberalism enables Zevin to sidestep much conceptual muddle about the doctrine.

The magazine emerges as a force that—thanks to the military, cultural, and economic power of Britain and, later, America—can truly be said to have made the modern world, if not in the way that many liberals would suppose.

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In terms of its influence, The Economist has long been a publication like no other. For years, the magazine was proud of the exclusivity of its readership. Now it has nearly a million subscribers in North America more than in Britain , and seven hundred thousand in the rest of the world. Since the early nineties, it has served, alongside the Financial Times , as the suavely British-accented voice of globalization scoring over the too stridently partisan and American Wall Street Journal.

The present editor, Zanny Minton Beddoes, is the first woman ever to hold the position.


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The staff, predominantly white, is recruited overwhelmingly from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and a disproportionate number of the most important editors have come from just one Oxford college, Magdalen. The pieces are mostly short, but the coverage is comprehensive; a single issue might cover the insurgency in south Thailand, public transportation in Jakarta, commodities prices, and recent advances in artificial intelligence.

He was particularly vociferous in his opposition to the Corn Laws, agricultural tariffs that were unpopular with merchants. The Corn Laws were repealed in , three years after the magazine first appeared, and Wilson began to proselytize more energetically for free trade and the increasingly prominent discipline of economics.

He became a Member of Parliament and held several positions in the British government. He also founded a pan-Asian bank, now known as Standard Chartered, which expanded fast on the back of the opium trade with China.

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In , Wilson became Chancellor of the Indian Exchequer. In the eighteen-forties, when Ireland was struck with famine, which was largely caused by free trade—the British insisted on exporting Irish food, despite catastrophic crop failure—Wilson called for a homeopathic remedy: more free trade. Limit the profit, and you limit the exertion of ingenuity in a thousand ways.

This betrayal of principle alienated, among others, the businessman and statesman Richard Cobden, who had helped Wilson found The Economist , and had shared his early view of free trade as a guarantee of world peace. But the editorial line remained much the same. More important, trade with the Southern states would be freer.

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Hobbes, Thomas: Moral and Political Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Discussing these and other editorial misjudgments, Zevin refrains from virtue signalling and applying anachronistic standards. Private ambition played a significant role. Born into a family of bankers, he saw himself and his magazine as offering counsel to a new generation of buccaneering British financiers. His tenure coincided with the age of capital, when British finance transformed the world economy, expanding food cultivation in North America and Eastern Europe, cotton manufacturing in India, mineral extraction in Australia, and rail networks everywhere.

The pressures of capitalist expansion abroad and rising disaffection at home further transformed liberal doctrine.

John Rawls

Zevin fruitfully describes how liberals coped with the growing demand for democracy. Bagehot had read and admired John Stuart Mill as a young man, but, as an editor, he agreed with him on little more than the need to civilize the natives of Ireland and India. Nonetheless, by the early twentieth century, the magazine was groping toward an awareness that, in an advanced industrial society, classical liberalism had to be moderated, and that progressive taxation and basic social-welfare systems were the price of defusing rising discontent.


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The magazine has since presented this volte-face as evidence of its pragmatic liberalism. Zevin reveals it as a grudging response to democratic pressures from below.