The fall of the Berlin wall, free trade, free speech through the Internet, lower marginal taxes.
But it has not offered solutions to the growth of organized crime, the loss of moral and family values, the destruction of the middle class, the deterioration of education, terrorism, the growth of mediocrity rather than meritocracy.
Conservatism has occupied the political space left by the liberals.
Liberalism has restricted itself in denouncing encroachments of freedom with more of the same arguments used 200 hundred years ago.
Rather than belabor what went wrong, I would like to propose a future agenda, which by itself will give an idea of what went wrong.
Liberalism greatest mission is to point to society not the encroachments on liberty, but to point out the growth of social free riding, call it kleptocracy, social parasitism, organized crime, government.
In every society, some members will take upon themselves an evolutionary strategy of living off the work of others.
The whole Social Security debate can be framed as a strategy of the older generation to live off the contributions and taxes of the younger generation.
Inefficient government can be seen as a group strategy to live of taxpayers, without giving back in return the services expected.
The free rider problem has been a particular concern of game theorists economists over the last 20 years, with some very disturbing conclusions.
Artificial life has discovered even more disturbing social outcomes, such as the Terris experiment.
Every society will generate social parasites, members who will specialize in living off the work of others.
This was the great Marxists mistake, not realizing that socialism would generate a new sort of social parasitism, which it did.
Liberals preferred to deal with the parasites we knew, such as monopolist cartels, legal privileges, many of which would be eliminated simply by free competition.
The evolution of cooperation, by Robert Axelrod, has been one of the most quoted books in the last few years, but few liberals have taken up his analysis and reframed it under the liberal point of view.
We all know that many terrorist groups and liberation groups are basically forms by which their leaders can extract funds from sympathizers, and get accolades from followers, and are the last ones interested in a solution of their everlasting cause.
How many philanthropic foundations do you know were fund raisers receive up to 50% of the donations in fees, one president of one Americas largest foundations, receives a salary of one million dollars, a function that in the past would have been filled by a retired volunteer.
Evolutionary Psychology has discovered that we have ingrained a mechanism to curb the growth of free riding in society.
It is called Altruistic Punishment. An instinct that explains why most young people are pray to leftist propaganda, leftist media.
Though this agenda is not explicit in the Conservative Right discourse, many of its attitudes are oriented against the free rider social parasite.
One of the most unfortunate phrases in the history of liberalism was the attack on altruism by Adam Smith, the “it is not from the benevolence” phrase.
This led critics to attack liberalism as advocating egoism, greed, self-interest.
Adam Smith should have used the word “cooperation”, that is what makes the world go around.
Which has been the bandwagon of socialism rather than liberalism, in spite that that was what Adam Smith was alluding to in the first place.
Free market is a cooperation organism, not an egoistical mechanism.
Egoitists don’t go very far doing it all alone.
But Adam Smith was taking a shot against the religions claim that altruism is the sole mover.
It is not, in fact the propagation of the ideology of altruism may be the road to social parasitism, a deliberate ploy to extract benefits, one that Hayek alluded in another fashion.
Complexity Theory, artificial life, game theory, evolutionary psychology are all discovering a basic belief of liberalism. That simple rules can lead to complex behavior.
This has always been an underlying assumption of liberalism, and liberals and libertarians have paid an enormous price by being accused of being simplistic, shallow, and unscientic.
Marxism’s claim to being scientific gave it enormous credibility, albeit a false one.
Liberalism now has a wealth of scientific findings to claim its assertions, but they are not being systematized as a New Liberalism, meaning a new way of presenting those ideas.
Gone are the days that public debt was used to fund wars, roads, infrastructure.
Now it is used to pay unfunded endowments to tenured Professors. There’s the rub.