Aristopopulism – A Political Proposal For America

University of Notre Dame Political Science Professor, Patrick Deneen, elicited renown for his cultural-political critique of modern liberalism, entitled simply Why Liberalism Failed? In this lecture, Patrick Deneen presciently scans the future, and holds out hope for the prospect for an ennobled aristoi and a more refined populace. He concurrently acknowledges the persistence of class and inequality (yet he prudently denies a way forward is to be found in the growing popularity of Democratic Socialism,) but rather he posits that only an ennobled aristoi can support a humane condition of the populace, and only a well-formed populace can restrain the hubris of the √©lite and even orient them toward virtue. Through such a carefully constructed mixed regime of aristocracy and populism, the common good may find a better articulation in public policy as well as manifest itself in what Alexis de Tocqueville dubbed the “corps interm√©diaires” and Edmund Burke called “the little platoons.” In turn, this influence would act to reproof the core weakness of the present neo-liberal order that was deliberately erected to forestall such a possibility and rather has solidified the material and political aggrandizement of the elites at the expense of the material comfort and political influence of the broader masses.

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