Liberalism in the Shadow of Totalitarianism

Liberalism in the Shadow of Totalitarianism

By: David Ciepley (author)Hardback

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This book argues that, more than any other factor, it was the encounter with totalitarianism that dissolved the ideals of American progressivism and crystallized the ideals of post-war liberalism. The New Deal began as a revolution in favour of progressive governance - executive-centred and expert-guided. But as David Ciepley shows, by the late 1930s, intellectuals and elites, reacting against the menace of totalitarianism, began to shrink from using state power to guide the economy or foster citizen virtues. All of the more statist governance projects of the New Deal were curtailed or abandoned, regardless of success, and the country placed on a more libertarian-corporatist trajectory, both economically and culturally. In economics, attempts to reorient industry from private profit to public use were halted, and free enterprise was reaffirmed. In politics, the ideal of governance by a strong, independent executive was rejected - along with notions of "central planning," "social control," and state imposition of "values" - and a politics of contending interest groups was embraced. In law, the encounter with totalitarianism brought an end to judicial deference, the embrace of civil rights and civil liberties, and the neutralist reinterpretation, and radicalization, of both. Finally, in culture, the encounter sowed the seeds of our own era - the era of the culture wars - in which traditional America has been mobilized against these liberal legal advances, and against the entire neutralist, "relativist," "secular humanist" reinterpretation of America that accompanies them.

About Author

David Ciepley is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia.


Introduction Part I: State-Building before the Totalitarian Encounter 1. An Exceptional Beginning 2. Social Science, Progressivism, and the State Part II: Totalitarianism and the Economy: The Renaissance of Free Enterprise 3. A Unique Economic Path 4. The Quest for a Cooperative Commonwealth: NRA and AAA 5. Two Roads to the Development State: TVA and NRPB 6. Totalitarianism and the Scuttling of the Development State 7. The Retreat from Cooperation to Fiscal Compensation 8. Totalitarianism and the National Security State Part III: Totalitarianism and Democratic Politics: The Rise of Interest Group Pluralism 9. Democracy and the "Values" Question 10. Envisioning Interest Group Pluralism 11. Interest Group Pluralism Institutionalized Part IV: Totalitarianism and the Court: From Higher Law to Neutrality 12. Totalitarianism and the Rediscovery of Civil Liberties 13. The Rise and Fall of Judicial Review before World War II 14. The Neutrality Ideal Comes to Court 15. Neutrality and the Due Process Revolution 16. Neutrality, Civil Liberty, and the Culture Wars Conclusion: The Dysfunctions of Antitotalitarian Liberalism Notes Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780674022966
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 400
  • ID: 9780674022966
  • weight: 706
  • ISBN10: 0674022963

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