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The Right Women : A Journey Through the Heart of Conservative America
coverCritical Legal Studies : A Liberal Critique (Studies in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy) by Andrew Altman

Scholars in the "Critical Legal Studies" movement have generated an important body of literature that challenges some of the most cherished ideals of modern Western legal and political thought. Taking as their main target liberalism and its commitment to the rule of law, CLS thinkers claim that the rule of law is a myth and that its defense by liberal thinkers is riddled with inconsistencies. In this first book-length liberal reply to CLS, Andrew Altman systematically examines the philosophical underpinnings of the CLS movement and exposes the deficiencies in the major lines of the CLS argument against liberalism.

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Liberalism, Multiculturalism, and Education- Is There a Fit

Essay by Stacy Smith Cornell.


Raging debate over multiculturalism has permeated virtually every facet of academic endeavor. Appropriately, political philosophers and philosophers of education are as embroiled in these discussions as any other academicians. Theoretical traditions are being reexamined in light of demands for group representation in political participation and resource distribution. Scholarly attention to the "recognition" and "difference"1 of cultural groups suggests that a multicultural agenda must address histories of exclusion and domination. Multiculturalism aspires to replace discriminatory practices with equal status relationships in an inclusionary public realm. For political philosophers this agenda raises the question: What theoretical orientation is most hospitable to the ideals of multiculturalism? For philosophers of education the question becomes: What educational practices are consistent with a multicultural public ethos? ...


Liberalism - The Philosophy That Shapes Government Policies and Actions

Essay by J Malcolm Fraser.


... Liberals have always had a set of beliefs providing the underlying rationale of their policies and giving them coherence. But we have not always spelled out those beliefs, those assumptions which inform and give direction to our policy decisions.

We need now to remedy that defect, to articulate our often unspoken major premises - unspoken simply because Liberals have taken the truth and importance of those premises to be self-evident. To us, they remain self-evident; but to others they remain largely un- known. And because they are largely unknown, the policies that flow from them are not fully understood. And because of that, we Liberals have made harder - unnecessarily harder - the task of winning and keeping not just the votes of the people but, even more important because it is more enduring, their under- standing support...


Liberalism - A Philosophy Through the Eighties

Essay by Steele Hall.


This extract is part of Australian Liberalism: The Continuing Vision

...A Government and therefore a Party, such as ours, which looks to be in Government, cannot be entirely representational of what the public wants. We have the duty to lead and at times to do things which are not popular for the longer term management of this community. On the other hand, we cannot fail to represent and to acknowledge that our first duty is to the voters of this country. If we think in Government that we have so much expertise and knowledge that we can forget our role of representation, we of course would get too far out in front and we would suffer one of the oldest problems of politics - we would not have anyone behind...


Foucault and Neo - Liberalism - Biopower and Busno - Power

Essay by James D. Marshall.


The notions of busno-power and busnocratic rationality developed elsewhere1 will be more fully developed in this paper. Busno-power is developed but distinguished from Foucault's notion of bio-power,2 and busnocratic rationality from the well known notion of technocratic or instrumental rationality. These notions are important for understanding recent international "reforms" in education, particularly as they impinge upon notions of the subject.

The notion of the free autonomous chooser underlies reform literature. But just as the Enlightenment notion of personal autonomy did not provide freedom, according to Foucault, nor also will neo-liberal autonomous choosers be free either: busnocratic rationality and busno-power will shape them as particular kinds of subjects so that they will choose in certain general ways.


LIBERALISM resources from Nerd World Media

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Liberalism - Catholic Encyclopedia


A free way of thinking and acting in private and public life.


The word liberal is derived from the Latin liber, free, and up to the end of the eighteenth century signified only "worthy of a free man", so that people spoke of "liberal arts", "liberal occupations". Later the term was applied also to those qualities of intellect and of character, which were considered an ornament becoming those who occupied a higher social position on account of their wealth and education. Thus liberal got the meaning of intellectually independent, broad-minded, magnanimous, frank, open, and genial. Again Liberalism may also mean a political system or tendency opposed to centralization and absolutism. In this sense Liberalism is not at variance with the spirit and teaching of the Catholic Church. Since the end of the eighteenth century, however, the word has been applied more and more to certain tendencies in the intellectual, religious, political, and economical life, which implied a partial or total emancipation of man from the supernatural, moral, and Divine order. Usually, the principles of 1789, that is of the French Revolution, are considered as the Magna Charta of this new form of Liberalism. The most fundamental principle asserts an absolute and unrestrained freedom of thought, religion, conscience, creed, speech, press, and politics. The necessary consequences of this are, on the one hand, the abolition of the Divine right and of every kind of authority derived from God; the relegation of religion from the public life into the private domain of one's individual conscience; the absolute ignoring of Christianity and the Church as public, legal, and social institutions; on the other hand, the putting into practice of the absolute autonomy of every man and citizen, along all lines of human activity, and the concentration of all public authority in one "sovereignty of the people". This sovereignty of the people in all branches of public life as legislation, administration, and jurisdiction, is to be exercised in the name and by order of all the citizens, in such a way, that all should have share in and a control over it. A fundamental principle of Liberalism is the proposition: "It is contrary to the natural, innate, and inalienable right and liberty and dignity of man, to subject himself to an authority, the root, rule, measure, and sanction of which is not in himself". This principle implies the denial of all true authority; for authority necessarily presupposes a power outside and above man to bind him morally.


Liberalism’s Weak Agency May Put Marriage Plans On Hold


Essay by Richard Brosio, Ball State University


The kind of liberal discourse Smith articulates is attractive to me, especially because it helps shed light on complex, nuanced problems that radicals and/or democratic Marxists have not addressed often enough. Furthermore, because I see liberalism’s historical attempt to come to terms with the Frankensteinian power of capitalism as at least related to the Marxist project, it is possible to view Smith as family -- albeit not necessarily a close relative. Bowles and Gintis have written,

progressive social change in the liberal democratic capitalist societies has followed the logic of collective opposition to oppression suggested by Marxian theory, while adopting the liberal language of rights and the goal of democratic empowerment….Though often turned effectively against popular movements, the discourse of rights has framed the hopes…of ordinary people for three centuries.1

Bowles and Gintis continue by asserting that political history in advanced capitalist societies can be characterized as a collision between property and personal rights. Relatedly,

one may bemoan the…hegemony of liberal discourse or one may celebrate it….[However,] it has…been part of the discursive landscape that political actors inhabit. We use it as we will and fashion it to our own ends if we can, but we seek to escape it only at the cost of becoming historically irrelevant.

So let us enter into relevant conversation with Smith...


Religious Liberalism and the Modern Crisis of Faith

©National Humanities Center. Grant Wacker, Ph.D. Duke University Divinity School. 


Australian Liberalism

This page has been set up by Victor Perton MP to provide reasonable access to papers and hotlinks relating to Australian...

Site includes:

Australian Liberalism: The Continuing Vision, (ed Thompson, Brandis & Harley), A Liberal Forum Publication, 1986. This is being updated with additional material and we would be grateful for significant contributions to Australian liberalism from 1901 to 1990.

Liberalism in the 90s This is a collection of speeches and essays. Again, we would appreciate any additional material.

Liberals Looking to the 21st Century - have a look at what current Liberals think on our new page. 


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