Nedanstående stycke, inledningen till ”Putting Cruelty First”, har jag tidigare citerat i ett annat sammanhang. Men det är så briljant och tänkvärt att det förtjänar att omläsas många gånger. Many years ago, a deeply religious Roman Catholic friend said to me, with some irritation, ”Why must you liberals bring everything down to cruelty?” What could […]

Ikväll börjar miniserien John Adams på Svt. Rekommenderas varmt. Ett citat som ackompanjemang: At his gloomiest, Adams predicted that his and Jefferson’s efforts to keep hereditary offices and honors out of America would fail. Exaggerated as they were, Adam’s worries were not without substance. He could see that the problem of equality in an open […]

Negative liberty is ”the open door”, or the possibility to act without being hindered by anyone. My freedom is as vast as the space in which I can do everything I want without anybody’s intervention, and particulary without the intervention of officialdom. And [Isaiah Berlin] noticed something which has escaped many of his critics: that […]

Svante Nycanders essä i dagens DN är en nyttig påminnelse om att liberalismen traditionellt sett inte haft en ljus och idylliskt syn på individen. Inte minst i Sverige har detta glömts bort. Ingen teoretiker under 1900-talet representerar i högre utsträckning än Judith Shklar den svartsynta, kalla, pessimistiska varianten av liberalism. Här är ett utdrag ur […]

Eftersom jag på sistone varit inne på metafrågor om politisk teori, så tänkte jag citera Shklars beskrivning av Walzer: In all [of Michael Walzer’s] works there is beneath an admirable eclecticism a constant set of themes, above all the conviction that intellectuals are duty-bound to articulate the deepest beliefs and concerns of their fellow citizens, […]