The Four Centrisms
Back in 2016, I argued that the centrist consensus of the 90s was breaking down, and that instead there was a wider menu, with three meaningfully distinct choices:
- Left Egalitarianism, which critiqued the consensus on the grounds that it enabled capitalists to exploit workers
- Neoliberalism, which defended the consensus through the traditional center-right and center-left parties
- Right Nationalism, which critiqued the consensus on the grounds that it enabled foreigners to exploit citizens
I no longer believe that this menu exists, and it may never have existed. Instead, I think there are four different types of centrist position. These types of centrism are aesthetically different but substantively nearly identical. By differentiating aesthetically, the 90s consensus is able to accommodate a higher level of cultural polarisation while protecting the core commitments of the 90s consensus.