There was a time, just a few decades ago, when most young radicals espoused a heady mix of Enlightenment values, Left-wing economics and a liberalised personal morality.
The Sixties’ generation embraced free speech, legal equality, religious freedom, the presumption of innocence and democratic empowerment. In foreign policy, they supported anti-imperialism, and in economics the welfare state and big government.
Some of these ideas were right, others dangerously wrong, especially the rejection of capitalism and the family, but they were coherent and inspired by many great Western philosophers of the past 350 years. They were grounded in reason, liberty and scepticism. As a result, conservatives and liberals, socialists and libertarians could still talk to one another, if merely to agree to disagree.
The great tragedy of the 21st century is how it has become cool and edgy to repudiate these...