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Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of FearFrom Absolutism to Neo-Conservatism$
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Marc Mulholland

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653577

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653577.001.0001

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Bright Bourgeois Morning

Bright Bourgeois Morning

(p.277) 15 Bright Bourgeois Morning
Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear

Marc Mulholland

Oxford University Press

The collapse of Communism and the weakening of Social Democracy in the face of post-industrial capitalism seemed to nullify all systemic challenges to liberal capitalism. The Neo-conservatives celebrated the triumph of free-market democracy, but worried that bourgeois civil society lacked the moral sinews to see off interstitial challenges from political Islam. The 9.11 atrocity and the subsequent War on Terror allowed for a ‘forward strategy’ in the Middle east, and Iraq was the set-piece for an export of bourgeois revolution on the points of bayonets. The liberation of Iraq was a bloody mess, however, and from the 2008 Great Recession deep-rooted economic problems in the model of financialized capitalism became evident. Nonetheless, bourgeois liberalism was not exhausted: rather, the markets demanded and the politicians agreed that marketization of social life was the appropriate response to multiple social and economic dysfunctions.

Keywords:   neo-conservatism, Iraq, political Islam, 9.11, Great Recession, bourgeois revolution

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