Liberal tension

The left-liberal soul is torn between left and liberal. To the left stands sensitivity to every power imbalance, from the grossest violence to the gentlest manipulation — all inequalities threaten the freedom of the individual to be who she or he is meant to be. All inequality must be eliminated before individuals are truly free. Comprehensive freedom-from is the feeling of freedom for the left gone illiberal!

The right-liberal soul is torn between right and liberal. To the right stands the longing for human accomplishment, from success in business to building great empires — all limits to what we can accomplish together threaten the freedom of the individual to participate in something greater than the self. Limits to accomplishment must be removed before a people is truly free. Unlimited freedom-to is the feeling of freedom for the right gone illiberal!

In the painful tension between individual freedom-from (which requires collective effort to protect all) and collective freedom-to (which requires individual sacrifice and participation) writhes liberalism, essentially middle, essential tense, essentially compromised. 

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