Why Post-Liberalism Failed

Carlsbad 1819

In 1884, Herbert Spencer, the Victorian intellectual who had become a household name before slipping away into obscurity and posthumous defamation as a “Social Darwinist,” wrote an essay on The New Toryism describing the numerous developments in England from 1860 onward that were turning against his vision of an industrious liberalism and the law of equal freedom. Factories acts, mine inspections, compulsory vaccination boards, restrictions on child labor, stricter medical licensing, bakehouse regulation acts, registration of lodging houses, inspection of cattle sheds, public works, compulsory schooling, nationalization of telegraphy, penalties on hawking without a certificate, train fare subsidies, and much more were instated by parliamentary legislation. “As we have seen, Toryism and Liberalism originally emerged, the one from militancy and the other from industrialism. The one stood for the régime of status and the other for the régime of contract—the one for that system of compulsory cooperation which accompanies the…

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