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The Crisis of Liberalism Debate

November 14, 2023

The Crisis of Liberalism Debate

Be it Resolved, liberalism gets the big questions right.

For the better part of three centuries, through wars, revolutions, and sweeping social change, liberalism has endured as the defining ideology of the West. Its championing of individual rights, free trade and capitalism, and liberal democracy has long been equated with the West’s economic development, social tolerance, personal freedoms, and the rule of law. But, more recently, powerful criticisms of liberalism have arisen on the right (populism) and left (socialism). Liberalism is increasingly blamed for everything from growing inequality, environmental degradation, political polarization, and cultural fragmentation. For its critics, liberalism has become an impediment to the goal of progress, and humanity urgently needs a new animating ideology.

Arguing for the motion is the controversial British M.P. and former cabinet minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg. He will be joined by the American writer and columnist who has shaped a generation’s thinking on the important issues of our time: George F. Will.

Opposing the motion is U.K. journalist, self-avowed communist and popular leftist thinker, Ash Sarkar. Her debating partner is the disruptive and thought-provoking American social conservative, Sohrab Ahmari, author of the bestseller Tyranny Inc.: How Private Power Crushed American Liberty.

It is individuals and individual choice in society that makes it a success..”
– Jacob Rees-Mogg

liberalism produces, as no other political philosophy can, an open society, a churning society..”
– George F. Will

How free are we really in liberal societies? I would say not free at all..”
– Ash Sarkar

We are not living in a meritocracy anymore..we have to get over these illusions and look at our society the way it really is..”
– Sohrab Ahmari

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