As a lifelong liberal, I am profoundly disappointed by the current predicament. Liberals must stop finger-pointing: liberty is not going to prevail in an atmosphere of hate directed against political opponents, and trust cannot be regained by accusing voters of being misled or making bad electoral choices.
I am not proposing we storm the modern equivalents of the Winter Palace, be it Canary Wharf in London or La Défense in Paris. However, I want to urge liberals to stop, if not reverse, the neo-liberal policies of deregulation and privatisation. Taxes should be imposed, those breaking laws and regulations should be held accountable. Not all ideas (a universal minimum wage, worker representation) will work, but far better to experiment than to allow economic injustices to persist.
Experiments should also be embraced in the field of democracy. The old liberal fondness for centralised institutionalism no longer works. Liberals need to offer a bold plan for reinvigorating the EU, embracing pluralism and flexibility in a complex and ever-changing environment. Different policy fields require different types of membership, different modes of engagement, and different mixtures of incentives and sanctions.
Liberalism will only bounce back if it appeals to young people, which means that the new vision of the open society ought to look forward rather than back. Liberalism should be, and be seen to be, the force for progress and innovation. When I was young, liberalism was a seductive idea, but over the years its sex appeal has rapidly diminished.
Jan Zielonka is Professor of European Politics and Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow, St Antony's College