By Harvey C. Mansfield Jr.
In writing in safeguard of liberalism, Professor Mansfield is going again to its historic and philosophical origins, analyzes Locke, Mill and others, and insists at the desire for challenging selection, resistance to the tyranny of the bulk, and actual main issue for the great of mankind.
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Extra info for The Spirit of Liberalism
To defend oneself it is necessary to recognize the enemy, and thus to have defined oneself against the enemy. Liberals, however, are tolerant, and to show their tolerance they favor a large and various society in which all groups, This chapter was originally published in The Alternative, 5-8. 7 (April 1974), Defending Liberalism 17 even enemies, are encouraged to take an interest. Liberal society is a society of interest groups, with the consequence that there is no interest group for liberalism.
A farm program to make farmers rich makes sense, if not wisdom; but a poverty program to establish and then abolish the poor makes sense only to those few spokesmen who become very rich in money or prestige by their poverty. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson treated the poor like an estate of the realm, rather than as they were in the thirties, "the human exhaust of capitalism "(p. 243), or as they are today, according to Lowi, the victims of injustice. Their confusion of intent between abolishing and organizing the poor has in practice merely reinforced the status quo, for example fragmentation in New York and machine dominance in Chicago.
This analysis would be important for judging the practical as well as the moral and theoretical soundness of his proposal. With such an analysis, he would have risked only imputation of deference to an earlier revolution which might have been called forth from the bullhorns of the advocates of revolution in our day. When Americans adopted the new public philosophy, they accepted positive government, but they did not understand the necessity and the requirements of planning. Planning is necessary because society does not operate automatically to desired ends as if by an invisible hand, in the way that capitalist ideology supposed the free market could order itself.
The Spirit of Liberalism by Harvey C. Mansfield Jr.