Liberalism, Political Theory, And The Rights Of Minority Cultures

To go forward, it is in passage 10 and thereabouts in the essay that Mill makes good his promise to clear things up, clarify his principle. We have it from 10 that a person may affect others for the worse, harm them, in two ways. He may do so, maybe by omission, without thereby failing in or violating a distinct and assignable obligation to them.

These ingredients, however, appear in widely varying definitions, proportions and combinations. The liberal values and institutions we defend with the first prong of the trident are well known, and central to any liberalism worthy of the name. The barbaric beheading of a French teacher outside Paris reminds us that, even in the oldest liberal societies, free speech has to contend with not only the heckler’s but now also the assassin’s veto.

In Britain, decisions that were once the responsibility of ministers are now made in courts, sometimes foreign courts, and in a range of public sector organisations dominated, like the civil service itself, by liberal technocrats. On a range of issues — from immigration and European integration to the marketisation of public services and the deregulation of the labour market — liberal politicians have pursued policies opposed by majorities of voters. Well up to Fukuyamas previous work summarising major historical movements and both persuasive and clear for the general reader as well as the student of politics . Obviously a mainly American focus although other regions are discussed .Well worth buying and the only discussion I would have liked to have seen expanded on is the role of lobbyists and corporations in buying influence in democracy. There is also a little too much equivalence drawn between the role of identity politics on the left and the current attacks on democracy and attempt to produce the suppression of voting rights on the right.

The American order, Porter argues, is better than the alternatives, and superior to its predecessors. But the idea of a liberal order is a myth, and to believe in it is to endanger American and Western interests today. As the world changes, and new powers rise, the “dilemmas of ordering” will increase. The US will need to make tough choices that might run counter to its values and perhaps even betray its allies. Yet there is too little of this philosophical analysis in Liberalism at Large to help us to really understand liberalism. Well-written, quick-paced and often stimulating, the book provides an entertaining narrative history of one of the Establishment’s favoured publications.

It is plain that until harm is defined, it is uncertain whether the given principle of liberty allows us to interfere with him, make him work. It is plain, further, that this principle is in general unclear. That is, his concern is not all possible restraints on liberty, but the possible restraints that are left after other possible restraints, of much importance in other political philosophies, are ruled out by an assumption or fiat.

Answering another survey question from my research team, in 2020 an astonishing 53 per cent of young Europeans said they thought authoritarian states were better equipped than democracies to tackle the climate crisis. Yet even if one were to take the most selfish, narrow view of the agenda for a new liberalism—one that was exclusively about defending freedom inside currently free countries—it would fail if it did not address some very large issues beyond our borders. The left suspects the power of monopoly capitalism and of all capitalists against their employees. It thinks that giving power instead to governments is the solution.

Examples of stimulation sequence and response during electrophysiological examination. In response to the next NoGo stimulus there was, correctly, no button press, and when the stimulus disappeared the fixation cross was displayed for 700 ms. Participants were informed that there was no time limit for completing the questionnaire. After completion, the participant sealed his/her questionnaire in an envelope, which was opened after the evaluation of all the electrophysiological data (i.e., from all 100 individuals). Are we to suppose Mill thinks, and are we to contemplate, that you don’t have to worry if the second person will kill herself because of the combination of her own moral feelings and what has been done by the first person?

So too is a right to food asserted on behalf of people starving to death. Nor is this kind of right something that turns up in only one part of the political or moral spectrum. A farmer is said to have had a right to defend his lonely farmhouse, in effect to shoot a burglar in the back. Peoples are said to have rights to their homeland and tradition, in effect a right to ethnic cleansing.