Hyper-capitalism and extreme identity politics are driving us to distraction. Both destroy the basis of a common life shared across ages and classes. The COVID-19 crisis could accelerate these tendencies further, or it could herald something more hopeful: a post-liberal moment.
Adrian Pabst argues that now is the time for an alternative – postliberalism – that is centred around trust, dignity, and human relationships. Instead of reverting to the mutual suspicion and destabilising inhumanity of 'just-in-time' free-market globalisation, we could build a politics upon the sense of localism and community spirit, the valuing of family, place and belonging, which was a real theme of lockdown. We are not obliged to put up with the restoration of a broken status quo that erodes trust, undermines institutions and trashes our precious natural environment. We could build a pluralist democracy, decentralise the state, and promote mutualist markets embedded in the everyday economy.
This bold book shows that only a politics which fuses economic justice with social solidarity and ecological balance can overcome our deep divisions and save us from authoritarian backlash.