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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More importantly, differences arise because of contemporary critiques of traditional practice and beliefs. These critiques purport to expose the manner in which the traditions carry forward entrenched status relationships.
entrenched status relationships. Is the traditional family, for example, a cultural inheritance to be treasured and preserved, or does it perpetuate gendered role differentiation and patriarchal values that should be rejected?
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 ...
... or from the group's relationship to the dominant culture to its relationship to dissident minorities within its own geographic reach, is likely to produce just the opposite reactions even in a broadly tolerant community.
My ambition is to expose these assumptions and show how they fail to account for central aspects of our experience of ourselves and of our relationship to the political community. The assumptions within which liberalism operates ...
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