For background, I introduced Deneen's work in this way back in August:
Deneen's overall thesis is that all liberalism contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction--progressive liberalism may get to the bottom of the slippery slope faster, but classical liberalism or libertarianism will get to the bottom just as surely because their fundamental principles are the same. Indeed, in a notable quote (see below) Deneen states with regard to the historical ignorance of his students:
The pervasive ignorance of our students ... is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide.
The civilization he speaks of, of course, is that of Western liberalism.
Deneen approaches the question of liberalism's death-wish from a philosophical and historical perspective but, before dismissing this as arcane theorizing, be advised that Deneen--writing in 2018--is keenly aware of current political realities. He writes with Trump--and "populism" generally--very much at the front of his mind.
The writer at Lifesite introduces Deneen's thinking in these words:
The thesis of “Why Liberalism Failed” can be shoved into a nutshell of, “liberalism is failing because liberalism is succeeding.” Deneen provides clarity in the definitions of conservatism and liberalism. He explains that there’s been confusion in what we typically call conservatism in the United States. Deneen suggests that we might more appropriately call conservatives, “classical liberals.” He goes on to say that, “we need to understand there are two variants or versions of liberalism itself.”
Deneen, unfortunately, isn't exactly a charismatic speaker, but he is clear. The podcast is 40 minutes long (after a ~4 minute intro) and is quite worthwhile. Highlights, for most listeners, will be his critique of Ronald Reagan. At the end, he states that he is ‘surprisingly hopeful’ for the future.
Here are the main previous posts on Deneen:
Why Liberalism Failed (1)
Why Liberalism Failed (2)