By Charles W. Anderson
"An eloquent safety of liberal democracy, no longer a lot as summary philosophy yet as a fashion of life." ."—Jean Bethke Elshtain, college of Chicago, writer of Democracy on Trial this present day those that think in liberal democracy needs to reexamine and reaffirm their commitments. right here, Charles Anderson probes our pressing issues and questions. Even those that think that liberal democracy is the easiest kind of govt might imagine that liberal individualism ends up in selfishness, permissiveness, and irresponsibility. Many might educate a cultural or non secular counter-ethic to offset the excesses of freedom. Grounding his view in vintage philosophic and spiritual beliefs, Anderson argues deeper imaginative and prescient of individuality and freedom may end up in either a legitimate public philosophy and a invaluable own ethic. within the related means that we as people try and comprehend our position in nature and the cosmos, Anderson seeks to appreciate how we, as particular participants, can comprehend our position between our fellow people. starting with friendship and love, he extends his inquiry to the relationships of training, neighborhood, paintings, and democracy. Anderson indicates how the common wish of loose humans to discover which means in relationships with each other may end up in intensity and fullness either in inner most and public existence.
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Extra resources for A Deeper Freedom: Liberal Democracy as an Everyday Morality
The object of freedom is to express yourself, to follow your inclinations, your impulses, your will, your originality, to do all those things that you would do if you were not repressed and disciplined. The mood is normally vivid and gleeful, a merry kicking over of traces. This is, in essence, romanticism. ” Today’s advocates join in a wild Whitmanesque celebration of sheer individual variety. We can now embrace humanity in all its discordant extremes. 6 Is this life of uninhibited self-expression what we seek?
But this seems an odd division of humanity, and it does not tell us what will happen if the two modes of reason contaminate one another. What happens if the people start placing the general interest above their personal desires (which, curiously, makes utilitarianism impossible, for What Is Freedom For? / 39 without personal interests there can be no general interest)? Or what if the rulers confuse their personal satisfaction with the general happiness, which seems not unlikely, given human frailty?
But awareness is not a constant state for anybody. ) And foreseeing to whom it will come is quite difWcult. Awareness is not the prerogative of any class or profession. The elites, those who have been specially prepared and nurtured, may fail to grasp the point at the moment of truth, while the rank amateur may seize it. As Aristotle, William James, and many others have taught, we live most of our lives by habit. Reducing our striving for good performance to repeatable routine is efWcient. Only when our 30 / Part I.