by Joseph Coletti
Senior Fellow, Fiscal Studies, John Locke Foundation
World events from the failed Arab Spring to the elections of 2016 “should have mugged” conservatives to question the post-War “secular-liberal-technocratic consensus,” says New York Post Op-Ed Editor Sohrab Ahmari. In his First Things review of Max Boot’s memoir The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right, Ahmari sees parallels to the an earlier generation when Nathan Glazer, Irving Kristol, and other would-be reformers got mugged by reality when they tried to improve society through policy.
The consensus is characterized by a desire to maximize freedom and usher in a new global culture in which individuals are emancipated from tradition, culture, and community has come to dominate the West since World War II. … The liberal, technocratic consensus has lent America a dynamic economy, world-winning entertainment, famously irreverent mores, and sundry technological marvels. … [But] Without a shared vision of the common good, society devolves into consumerist cliques and warring tribal factions.