Managerial Liberalism and Our Discontent
Come one, come all to A Public Space on September 14, 2016, for a truly thinkfluential panel on our misguided neoliberal elite. This is event is free and open to the public.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The event will begin at 7 p.m.
Conservative America has lost its mind, swooning into the short-fingered grasp of a corrupt reality-TV strongman. But among liberals, there’s a distressing absence of passion and moral imagination.
What accounts for this prolonged state of liberal exhaustion? We at The Baffler propose that it’s a product of managerial liberalism—an approach to government that regards our leaders as results-driven professionals. Managerial liberals are fierce advocates of technocratic personal advancement, and approach our politics as the dominion of a knowledge elite. If they were the type of political actors to have slogans, theirs would be, Don’t organize—instruct!
Prepared to be engrossed by our rousing panel with Baffler editor-in-chief Chris Lehmann and colleagues to anatomize this new liberal knowledge elite, and to develop genuinely new political alternatives to its reign. Baffler founder Thomas Frank, author of Listen, Liberal, will probe the intellectual habits and social composition of this leadership class. Barbara Ehrenreich, a Baffler contributing editor, will discuss her pioneering research into the rise of the professional managerial class. Princeton religion professor Eddie Glaude, who also chairs the school’s African-American studies department will examine the shortcomings and blind spots that afflict the liberal vision of racial equality; his latest book is Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. Win McCormack, editor-in-chief of the New Republic, will address the yawning philosophical void at the heart of contemporary American liberalism.