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A couple of links

May 8th, 2008 (01:09 pm)

A couple of links poached from Arts and Letters Daily which go some way towards restoring my faith in the future of the public realm, if only because such ideas are being articulated:

The Liberal Imagination of Frederick Douglass

The New Paternalism
(though there is something depressing about manipulation of the herd mentality, all the same)


Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: May 8th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)

I thought the first essay suffered from not seeming to be aware of the way the meanings of the terms 'liberal' and 'conservative' have changed. Asserting that liberals need to return to nineteenth century liberal values/feelings assumes that a nineteenth century liberal and a twenty-first century liberal both want the same kind of society, which is highly questionable.

The second essay was more interesting, but I'm always vaguely suspicious of would-be technocrats. As you say, there is something worrying about manipulation, even when paternalistic.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 8th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)

I think, though, that the Douglass article is calling for a restoration of liberal faith which is adaptable to circumstances. I think it's aware of the way that the meaning of 'liberal' has been allowed to change; this is calling for a reinjection of selected attitudes from the nineteenth century.

Posted by: ms_rebecca_riot (ms_rebecca_riot)
Posted at: May 9th, 2008 08:06 am (UTC)

interesting article on 'nudging'. I can see its good points, although on a level it is a bit spooky.