Tag Archive

Fredric Jameson

The Neoliberal Imagination

Last week I wrestled with Rick Perlstein’s reassessment of the historiography of conservatism, and particularly with his worry that in trying to throw off a tradition of writing condescendingly about conservatism, historians had effaced the record of right-wing extremism and its bizarre but significant place in the history of the conservative movement. One of the most famous such instances of condescension—which Perlstein quoted—is to be found in the preface of Lionel Trilling’s The Liberal Imagination—you probably remember it for the backhanded slap at conservatism as a series of “irritable mental gestures.” The notoriety of Trilling’s glib dismissal of conservatism has Read more