Since I read Mouffe a couple of years ago, I’ve become aware of the intensity and depth of my commitment to liberalism, defined as: “favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms… favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform.”

I came to feel that liberalism ought to be viewed as a moral commitment, not an adherence to particular policies. A true liberal will treat all policies as means to an end to liberalism, and will discard any policy if shown to violate the goal of liberalism.

Currently this is not the case. Left-liberals align themselves with advocates of leftist policies without worrying nearly enough if their allies are committed to a liberal outcome. And the right is the same, if not worse. Libertarians allying with neoconservatives is nothing less than perverse.

It occurred to me that the language and framing of politics might be the cause of this, and that a reframing and clarification of language might enable new alliances along moral lines. So I made the Ambidextrous Liberal Manifesto.

But since the first iteration, a lot has happened. The USA has experienced an intensification of racial tensions. Reactions have been polarized and polarizing. Political correctness has returned to the left with a literal vengeance, after a decade long residence with the right, where it took the form of grotesque Freedom Fried nationalism. In Europe, hard-right politics is gaining ground with building momentum. In my personal life, I’ve been reading about liberalism, from the perspectives of thinkers who wrote in the wake of WWII, and who were responding to polarities more extreme than those we bemoan in the USA. Two of the most notable were Friedrich Hayek and Isaiah Berlin.

Consequently, I’ve found myself wanting to redraw my political landscape with increased dynamic range in a more universal gamut. So, here’s the latest. I am going to work it into a second version of the presentation, later, but I think it is in a state where its new meaning can be derived from the first version.


Leave a Reply