War and the Illiberal Conscience

Synopsis

War & the Illiberal Conscience focuses on two central themes. The first (& larger) section studies the revolt against liberalism: the challenge of German philosophical ideas between 1890 & 1945, namely antipositivism, which ended with the postwar occupation of Germany by the Allies, & the challenge of Marxism, an illiberal version of positivism that also ended in defeat-the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In the latter part of the study, the argument is extended to look at the end of the story, at the extent to which, in triumphing over its enemies, the liberal world-although still convinced of the truth of its own principles-no longer seems enthusiastic about acting on those principles. The liberal conscience no longer spurs it to action. In our postmodern world, the author argues, it makes cowards of us all.