The dying liberalism: What comes next?

Although, liberalism as champion enlightenment ideology enjoyed its heydays during the course of twentieth century but today its failures are unmatched. For the first time in history, more people are dying from obesity, accident, old age than from starvation, violence and plague. For the first time in human history social chaos supersedes political peace and economic prosperity. The so-called liberal progress, what they call ‘neo-liberal globalization’ was aimed at universalization of the world across social, political and economic level. To achieve this vision the idea of multilateral cooperation was fostered to affluence the free movement of goods, money, people, and ideas across the borders. Now, it seems that all went astray and every elitist bourgeoisie efforts to control the globe have gone in vain.

Today, people are losing faith in the liberal order and its cherished capitalist modernity. People have turned to tradition, values, religion, norms, customs and identity to reassert themselves instead of globalized standards. The individualized (tradition) human cultures are rebelling -against the so-called liberal-centric universalized values, which is threatening their existence. This is why numerous governments around the globe are taking anti-liberal assertiveness by restricting globalization, financialization, and capitalism. We can even see this existential rebellion within the liberal west especially in Europe, where liberal sceptics are growing by the day. And, it seems likely to continue for the years to come and the global liberal disorder has already begun. Now the question is that what might replace it?

It might be nationalism. Consequently, it is a vivid fact that the traditional fight between left and right has ended long time ago and the forthcoming fight is between globalist and nationalists. Because nationalists believe that the post-liberal world should be the network of walled but friendly nations. For nationalists, in this new world, every nation will be a fortress to protect its identity and national interest while at the same time respecting the existence of others. Hence, there will be no forceful universalization, no global elitism, only multiculturalism and global peace. The new world within the regional spheres will be determined by the distinctive federative cum confederative political setup among the regional states regardless of the size big or small.

However, it is a fact of our time that no economy can prosper without the integrated network of investment and trade but under the liberal world integration, mankind is facing major existential threats such as ecological degradation, technological disruption and nuclear apocalypse. In this respect, the world needs a better ideology and leadership for the post-liberal order to face the common problems on priority basis. As a matter of fact, the endless liberal disillusionment has compelled ordinary masses to appeal for a new political, social and economic ideology to face the common threats.

As an illustration, there is an urgent appeal for the new ideological cooperation over major issues such as ecological degradation and possibility of nuclear apocalypse at both regional and global level. Especially, the liberal capitalist centric disruptive technologies are posing real threat to mankind and its existence in general. In this regard, we need collective identities to address the common challenges faced by the world and mankind in general. It is a bitter reality that since the last two centuries west has been hijacked by the liberal federalist fanatics, who attempted to devolve the individualized exceptional cultures into moribund universalized structure.

With the latter universalization project, the world was governed by the liberals for several generations. At the heart of liberal ideology, there was a grand myth that all human share some core experiences, values and interests, and that there is no human group superior to other. Likewise, within liberalism, rationality and freedom are the supreme facts about individuals and societies. Consequently, with the rise of integrated and centralized liberal elitist structure, the grand narratives of the enlightenment liberalism started disappearing for good. Basically, the rise of liberal elitist power structure attempted to confront the nature of history and hence, faced an eternal rebellion from tradition, culture and identities. Today, the leading pioneers of liberalism and absolute democracy are nothing but the proselytes or angry zealots, who are justifying the failures of liberalism to resurrect it.

Their tragic responsibility of representing liberalism and its moribund cause has turned into political accountability, which has exposed it in Alexander Koyre’s phrase from the closed system to infinite universe. Hence, the beginning of liberal disorder is the result of drifts and thrusts of the liberal leadership, which is inciting conflicts and wars. Ideologically, liberalism has failed in every sphere from politics to economics because in the Leibnizian context it no longer offers a pre-stabilized harmony between man and the world. Hence, the post-liberal era needs a new radical intellectual and ideological revolution to assess the new socio-political possibilities—and the dying liberalism means the beginning of new reawakening.

Shahzada Rahim
Shahzada Rahim
Shahzada Rahim is a dedicated Global Affairs Analyst with extensive experience in international relations, political analysis, and strategic planning. He is an author, literary critic, and Geopolitical Analyst. He writes extensively about geopolitics.