In Liberal Progressivism, Gordon Hak makes the case for the value of theory and philosophy in understanding the day-to-day political realm of elections, politicians, scandals, fund-raising, and law-making. Running through the book is the big question of how political attitudes and actions are philosophically grounded: why do people believe what they do?
Framed as a debate between liberal progressivism and the Marxist-informed left, and between liberal progressives and the non-university-educated working class, an informant named "Gord" is introduced. Drawing on his life experience he acts as a guide into the worlds of liberal progressivism, the non-university-educated working class, and the Marxist-informed intellectual-left modes of existence that he has personally experienced. In 11 chapters, the book presents an appreciation of nonbinary relationships, open-ended dialectics, complex systems and equilibrium theory, and the importance of emotions in political life.
Through a transdisciplinary approach, the book delves into the interconnecting the worlds of politics, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, history, and epistemology to produce a celebration of political theory which deserves to be widely read by students, scholars and activists.
Table of Contents
2. Locating Liberal Progressivism
3. Apparatuses of Analysis or How You See Is What You Get
4. A World of Work in the 1970s
5. Engaging with Radicals and Radicalism
6. Among Liberal Progressives
7. The Economy and Capitalism
8. Identity, Inclusion, Diversity, Immigration, and Fundamentalism
9. Environmentalism and Climate Change
10. Ideological Struggle, Movement Politics, and Activists
11. Final Words
Gordon Hak is Professor Emeritus in the History Department, Vancouver Island University, Canada.
"Liberal Progressivism offers a powerful critique of contemporary identity politics as it has reshaped today’s polarized society, and it does so with a stubborn independence that sets it apart from both the celebrants of ‘inclusivity’ and the jeremiads of its conservative opponents. Anyone interested in the future of the left and the chasm separating so many bourgeois progressives from the working class will find it a riveting read."
Ian McKay, Professor of History, McMaster