Liberalism

JOHN GRAY:

COMMON TO ALL VARIANTS OF THE LIBERAL TRADITION IS A DEFINITE CONCEPTION, DISTINCTIVELY MODERN IN CHARACTER, OF MAN AND SOCIETY.… IT IS INDIVIDUALIST, IN THAT IT ASSERTS THE MORAL PRIMACY OF THE PERSON AGAINST THE CLAIMS OF ANY SOCIAL COLLECTIVITY; EGALITARIAN, IN AS MUCH AS IT CONFERS ON ALL MEN THE SAME MORAL STATUS AND DENIES THE RELEVANCE TO LEGAL OR POLITICAL ORDER OF DIFFERENCES IN MORAL WORTH AMONG HUMAN BEINGS; UNIVERSALIST, AFFIRMING THE MORAL UNITY OF THE HUMAN SPECIES AND ACCORDING A SECONDARY IMPORTANCE TO SPECIFIC HISTORIC ASSOCIATIONS AND CULTURAL FORMS; AND MELIORIST IN ITS AFFIRMATION OF THE CORRIGIBILITY AND IMPROVABILITY OF ALL SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND POLITICAL ARRANGEMENTS.”

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