Posts Tagged: liberalism
We’ve all read at least one: from “Against YA” to “Against Happiness,” essays that promise to dismiss entire abstract concepts using only rhetoric make for great click-bait. In The New Yorker, Ivan Kreilkamp explains why we keep overstating the case:
“Against [X]” is a symptom of a liberal culture’s longing to escape its own strictures; it’s the desire of thoughtful and nuanced people to shed their inhibitions and issue fearsome dicta.
Although it never garnered the intellectual prestige reserved for his contemporary Walter Benjamin’s critical zingers, Stefan Zweig’s work has recently enjoyed a revival at the hands of two publishers. Zweig’s legacy is that of a conflicted yet devoted proponent of liberalism, who struggled to understand the function of the humanities in World War II-era Vienna but defended them all the same:
An idea which does not take on material shape is not necessarily a conquered idea or a false idea; it may represent a need which, though its gratification be postponed, is and remains a need.