On Liberty EP52 Have Postmodern Politics Launched Us on a Ship of Fools?

Did the fall of the Soviet Union usher in the end of history for everyone, or only for a small class of comfortably well-off professionals in a few rich countries? How did big ideas replace practical politics, and what does it mean for our future now that politics have come roaring back? Was the presidency of Donald Trump an aberration, or a sign of things to come? And perhaps most importantly: is sin really such a bad thing, after all?

We talked to Prof David Martin Jones about his new book History’s Fools: The Pursuit of Idealism and the Revenge of Politics. It explores the consequences of what he calls the “liberal hubris” of the progressive professional class. We’ll be asking him what effective diplomacy really means, how politics should work in our post-political age, and whether the “West” really stands a chance in the brave new multicultural world of the twenty-first century?

David Martin Jones is Visiting Professor in War Studies at King’s College, London. He emerged from a British post-war grammar school the first child in his family to go to university, earning a PhD at the London School of Economics under the supervision of the Australian-British philosopher Kenneth Minogue. Jones’ book History’s Fools: The Pursuit of Idealism and the Revenge of Politics was published by Hurst in 2020.