As Fred Siegel wrote in his 2014 history of the American left, The Revolt Against the Masses:
The best short credo of liberalism came from the pen of the once canonical left-wing literary historian Vernon Parrington in the late 1920s. “Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class,” Parrington insisted, referring to both democracy and capitalism, “and the artist and the scientist will erect in America a civilization that may become, what civilization was in earlier days, a thing to be respected.” Alienated from middle-class American life, liberalism drew on an idealized image of “organic” pre-modern folkways and rhapsodized about a future harmony that would reestablish the proper hierarchy of virtue in a post-bourgeois, post-democratic world.
Just ask former President Obama, whose entire administration seemed devoted to flipping von Clausewitz’s axiom about war on its head, viewing American politics as the continuation of warfare by other means.
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