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A Liberalism That Always Wants More For Itself
Yes, liberal neutrality is a fiction. But that doesn't mean we can't strive for it.
This is an excellent post by, including some well-taken pushback on yours truly. A lot of good stuff in here for anyone interested in the growing tensions between American Muslims and the Democratic Party.
One of Jalal’s critiques, I think, is on point.
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The kind of "apple pie" version of liberalism that I present as an ideal doesn't actually exist in America today. Classical liberalism doesn't stay liberal. It wants more for itself. Which presents a real problem for American Muslims.
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When we talk about liberalism, are we talking about what we think it should be, even if that aspiration diverges considerably from practice?
I do think “liberal neutrality” is asymptotic: Even if it’s unattainable, it’s worth trying to get as close to it as possible—assuming, of course, that the country in question was founded on some notion of liberal neutrality, which the constitution then enshrined.
The decision of the all-Muslim city council in Hamtramck, MI to prohibit contentious flags representing races, religions, or other groups was closer to an ideal of liberal neutrality then if the council had flown Pride flags, or any other flag that in some way reflected a particular conception of the Good. Whenever possible, the State should not promote a particular conception of the Good. That is the essence of neutrality. Of course, nothing is really neutral in the end, but, in an imperfect world, there are more neutral options and there are less neutral options.