Reassessing Political Ideologies: The Durability of Dissent

By Michael Freeden | Go to book overview

2

Ideological dominance through philosophical confusion

Liberalism in the twentieth century

Gerald F. Gaus


A surprisingly liberal century

In evaluating liberalism's success in this century, it would do well to recall briefly the prospects for liberalism a hundred years ago. At the turn of the twentieth century a number of thoughtful observers, from both the right and left wings of liberalism, feared that its days were numbered. In 1891 Herbert Spencer warned that hard-won liberal freedoms were being undermined by socialists and communists, who were leading civilization back to bondage. 1 To L.T. Hobhouse, the nineteenth century was the 'age of Liberalism, yet its close saw the fortunes of that great movement brought to their lowest ebb'. 2

Whether at home or abroad those who represented Liberal ideas had suffered crushing defeats. But this was the least considerable of the causes of anxiety. If Liberals had been defeated, something much worse seems about to befall Liberalism. Its faith in itself was waxing cold. It seemed to have done its work. It had the air of a creed that is becoming fossilized as an extinct form, a fossil that occupied, moreover, an awkward position between two very active and energetically moving grindstones - the upper grindstone of plutocratic imperialism, and the nether grindstone of social democracy. 3

Writing in 1911, Hobhouse held out hope that a revised liberalism, which had learned from socialism, might not only survive, but grow along with democracy, though he also thought it was possible that liberalism could 'gradually sink'. 4 And the prospects of liberalism did not quickly improve. Writing in 1927 Guido de Ruggiero analysed the 'crisis of liberalism'. 5 During the 1930s it was widely held that liberalism was besieged by fascism from the right and socialism and communism from the left. In 1935 John Dewey observed that liberalism 'has long been accustomed to onslaughts' from the right, but such attacks were mild compared to the new assaults from the left. In the minds of many people, said Dewey, 'liberalism has fallen between two stools, so that it is conceived as the refuge of those unwilling to take a decided stand in the social conflicts going on'. 6 Dewey too saw a 'crisis in liberalism' and believed that liberalism was in 'eclipse'. 7 Indeed, it seems that Dewey was convinced that socialism, not liberalism, was the wave of the future: 'we are in for some kind of socialism, call it by whatever

-13-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Reassessing Political Ideologies: The Durability of Dissent
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 216

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.