The Global Recession of Classical Liberalism

The Global Recession of Classical Liberalism

The scale of classical liberalism’s retreat became ever more visible in 2021. Its recession is global—spanning the Americas and enveloping Europe and Asia. It is pan-ideological: not only are free nations becoming less free, unfree nations are becoming more unfree. It is not only that the left is moving farther left but the parties of the right, currently the best political hope for classical liberalism, are turning to various forms of illiberalism. And the results for policy have been comprehensively deleterious, threatening to reorient everything from free trade to competition law to social insurance in a more statist direction.

Global Retrenchment

As Americans, we mostly focus on what is happening at home.  The momentum against classical liberalism can be measured by contrasting the legislative programs of the Obama and Biden administrations. To be sure, President Obama pursued legislation that…

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