I loved this article about liberalism – it speaks very much to my views about what it means to be a “liberal” in 2019. This is very closely connected to one big problem with our current society – the crony capitalism of unfairness that I wrote about the other day. Written by a self-described Marxist, no less!
In particular, these quotes were relevant:
The point of Tocqueville’s liberalism, he explained, is to disperse power, not to establish the individual as some impregnable citadel with its fortifications directed towards our fellow human beings. Individuals are freed from the oppressive power of absolute monarchy or Papal proclamation, not so that they can become free-floating centres of self-government, but precisely so that they can form “associations”, and thus, through the power of these new collectives, disperse power throughout society.
The basic point is this: that the ultimate purpose of the strain of liberalism Sir Larry was pointing to was not to release the individual from any authority other than itself but simply to oppose over-weaning concentrations of power. And the best way to do this is through the power of human association, often expressed in terms of institutions – parliaments, the judiciary, the armed forces, the media, the church, even football clubs, even the monarchy.
If liberalism is to survive as a positive force within society, it needs to move away from the idea that the human individual is sovereign and appreciate that human flourishing requires society. And that society – association, if you like – requires a continual revolution of power redistribution.