Daily Archives: May 20, 2010

Ideology Ignores Cultural Context

I enjoyed this, In Defense Of Rand Paul (Kinda), from Andrew Sullivan:

“Worse, Paul’s entirely abstract intellectual argument wrests pure principles out of an actual society, with actual historical atrocities, violence, oppression and contempt. That’s why I cannot be a libertarian the way some others like Paul are. I do not believe you can reify an abstraction like liberty and separate it from the context – historical, cultural, moral – in which it lives and breathes and from which it emerged. I can believe in freedom and believe in equality of opportunity but I should be mature enough to see when there has to be a compromise between the two – and decide. On the issue of race in America, the libertarian right was proven wrong – morally, empirically wrong. Giving up the ancient and real freedom to discriminate was worth it – indeed morally and politically necessary for America to regain its soul.”

This reminds me why I read Andrew Sullivan. Libertarianism really, really bugs me, and the reason why is because it ignores any sort of cultural context. It’s not grounded in empiricism. Because I’m sympathetic to this kind of argument, you also see why although I’m no longer politically conservative, I still find conservatism useful philosophically and sociologically.

To write about:
1) Why economics bugs me, philosophically
2) Open and Accessible Government