One Manifesto, Two Responses
By Arnold Kling
University of Chicago Law Professor’s ten principles of liberalism drew two responses in today’s TCSdaily.
the progressive communitarian’s basic flaw is his willingness to invoke the coercive power of the state in ways that deny the right of mankind acting individually or collectively through voluntary associations to order society. In contrast, conservatives are unwilling to sacrifice ordered liberty at the altar of community. A conservative properly insists that individuals be left free to define for themselves what conduct shall be deemed trustworthy or honorable, rather than being forced to comply with, say, Geoffrey Stone’s definition of what makes for a good community.
I think that treating a national community like a family is a grave intellectual error. A national unit is an institution that creates a legal framework for a large group of strangers to interact. A family is a small group that interacts on the basis of personal bonds. Strengthening government serves to weaken families and other vital civic institutions.
I also spell out ten libertarian propositions. Comments welcome.