When Progressives Were on the March

The Postwar Era’s Lessons for the Left

Kim Vintage Stock / Alamy Stock Photo

The rise of illiberal politics around the world is generating understandable anxiety over the future of the liberal international order. Most of that concern focuses on the fate of the international institutions that Washington and its allies created after World War II to promote peace and economic openness and to ward off the return of the protectionist, nationalist, and imperialist ideas that had produced so much bloodshed in the first half of the twentieth century. But equally important to the liberal order are the domestic policies and programs that accompanied these international arrangements. These involved a redesign of capitalism, with states …