Putting Liberalism in Its Place
Princeton University Press, 2009 M01 10 - 336 páginas
In this wide-ranging interdisciplinary work, Paul W. Kahn argues that political order is founded not on contract but on sacrifice. Because liberalism is blind to sacrifice, it is unable to explain how the modern state has brought us to both the rule of law and the edge of nuclear annihilation. We can understand this modern condition only by recognizing that any political community, even a liberal one, is bound together by faith, love, and identity.
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We appeal to the idea of human rights—“It is the law,” we say—but beneath the legal rhetoric we find disagreement about the nature of the individual and his or her relationship to the community. Disagreement, we fear, may go all the way ...
... the right of the child to choose his or her own cultural community or of minorities to their own choice of lifestyle.7 We reason that if we do not protect the rights of the individual against the group here, we will do so nowhere.
We experience this commitment simultaneously as a kind of open-ended love and as a faith in the capacity of each individual to enter a rational debate that will result in mutual agreement. No one, we believe, is beyond conversion to our ...
These include respect for the dignity and equality of individuals, a skepticism toward fixed hierarchies, broad acceptance ... a demand for representative government limited by a doctrine of individual rights embodied in a rule of law ...
Conversely, belief that community relationships are constitutive of individual identity may lead to the advocacy of traditional values. My argument is not that the onto- logical character of the subject undermines the liberal project, ...
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