The [cold war] liberals sought to depoliticize all aspects of culture, to emphasize technique over ideology, the instrument over the idea. Daniel Bell's book The End of Ideology decreed the cessation of class struggle in America. The surviving form of liberalism was "managerial" rather than ideological; it offered a method for adjusting social imbalances rather than a blueprint for reforming society. The technical approach became the Democratic Party's "program" in the 1950s. Liberalism is, of course, nonrevolutionary by definition, and even in the headiest days of the New Deal, liberals opposed the transformation of the capitalist system. But with the death, or dormancy, of the radical left in the 1950s, liberalism lost even its reformist character, and it, too, became depoliticized.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
In The Nation, April 23, 1983:
Posted by Andrew Seal at 6:50 PM