“It is Tash Whom He Serves”: Deneen and Vermeule on Liberalism

30 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2022

Date Written: December 1, 2022


Patrick Deneen and Adrian Vermeule each claim that liberalism’s relentless logic tends to destroy communities and traditions. Their descriptions of liberalism are distorted, and the alleged mechanism is underspecified. Deneen, who offers more detail, emphasizes the harm that neoliberal economics has done to working class incomes, and the harm that the sexual revolution has done to working class family structure. The harms are there, but Deneen is unfamiliar with the pertinent social science, misdescribes the causal processes at work, misattributes the harms to liberalism, and embraces quack remedies. Both writers echo earlier Christian flirtations with Marxism: philosophical errors lead idealists to gullibly embrace authoritarian kleptocrats who do not give a damn about the people the idealists are trying to help.

Keywords: Patrick Deneen, Adrian Vermeule, liberalism, integralism

JEL Classification: k10, k19, k30, k39

Suggested Citation

Koppelman, Andrew M., “It is Tash Whom He Serves”: Deneen and Vermeule on Liberalism (December 1, 2022). Notre Dame Law Review, Forthcoming, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 22-33, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4291204

Andrew M. Koppelman (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-8431 (Phone)

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