Pandora’s Locke Box
April 24, 2014 § 53 Comments
Recent discussions here and at the Orthosphere (see here and here) have reinforced my impression that almost everyone wants to have a nice tame liberalism to keep as a pet. A common idea-structure I encounter is that traditionalism and particularity are great and should be protected as a locally scoped phenomenon, but that individuals or individual units should be free to separate – to emigrate or secede, as it were – as they see fit, based on nothing more than their preferences qua individual or unit. Thus we will have a free market of traditionalisms, and no particular traditionalism will be oppressed by other traditionalisms.
The hope seems to be that if we can just get a limited injection of “live and let live” liberalism somewhere within the right political scope (which varies based on the theorist), we can let a thousand flowers bloom. You might think of it as a form of abstract traditionalism, which is something of a contradiction in terms.
But this is just liberalism itself, of course: and under liberalism everything is permissible only as long as it is compatible with liberalism.
I don’t understand why people who promote liberalism as a political doctrine on a global scope don’t expect it to come a-knocking on local doors. The notion of a “tame” liberalism, one that will destroy only the authorities you don’t like while leaving intact the authorities you do like, is a baseless fantasy.