David Goodheart’s take on postliberalism, tries to explain and solve the shortcomings of earlier liberalism forms. It is not a new political movement or mandate, rather it takes the shape of an ideology, one to guide political dialogue that accepts that people are both selfish and altruistic.
Goodheart argues; “that the social liberalism of the 60s and economic liberalism of the 80s ignored the importance of belonging and institutions like family, local community and nation.”
Post liberalism takes ideas from both the left and the right to form one cohesive strategy to solve economic and social challenges of today without leaving anyone behind. But it also reintroduces lost ideas and foundations such as that of the common life, mutuality, vocation, the dignity of labour and the idea that everyone has a contribution to make.
In my previous post I already tried to highlight the importance of values in a community, however, I think that Goodheart’s work explains this topic more in a pragmatic way that can be easier translated into political debate and new policy.
Postliberalism accepts that there is a dilemma for progressives in that they want a lot of solidarity on the one hand but also diversity. In reality these two values are contrary, how can you expect solidarity –equality in wealth, equal opportunities and a social welfare system – when you also must have diversity – equal respect for people that have different lives, values and goals.
The goal of postliberalism is to have a realistic form of liberalism, one that accepts families and communities always take priority over the foreign. Setting down a definition of what the nation is, and the community within it. This definition needs to be open enough to include the influx of new people with different backgrounds and places of birth, but not so open that it loses meaning.
It does not take the erosion of historic identity as a catalyst for future damnation, but there should be a desire to preserve the good things about the past and transform these into modern concepts.
When you would apply this theory to immigration it explains that large-scale immigrations are not only about economics but also about less definite things like identity, social contract and mutual obligation. David Goodheart, just like Murray, highlights the dominate liberal universalist voice in the current political that ignores the importance of place and people. Right-populist parties deceivingly stress these absent principles, but with the wrong solutions.
Therefor postliberalism, I believe, could really be the new wave that; “is not afraid to attack the status quo in the name of conservatism; not a nostalgia of the past but a desire to preserve what was best about it, in new forms if necessary.”- David Goodheart.