Picking Up the Pieces

Great Britain is in trouble—politically, economically, and culturally—and Phillip Blond wants to change this.  He blames both the political right and the left for having created an atomistic society in which all pursue self-interest to the detriment of society as a whole.

Blond explains how Britain got into this predicament and then gives several chapters offering ways out.  He advocates a return to an older and more radical conservatism, one rooted in community and tradition.  This is what he terms a “Red Tory” conservatism (as opposed to the “Blue Tory” variety, which champions the market).  The final chapter focuses on David Cameron, the current prime minister, who Blond believes can deliver Britain from her current woes.  Blond, a former theology and philosophy professor, is now an economic advisor to Cameron and wrote this book partly as a political tract before the 2010 election.  But it is more than that.  Red Tory is a penetrating critique of Britain’s problems, as well as those of much of the Western world.

Blond begins with the recent economic crisis, which reveals the hollowness of the modern liberal project.  The root of the crisis is the Anglo-American transatlantic financial system created by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.  Their policies effected many needed economic reforms.  But they also centralized financial power, creating...

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