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By John McGowan

ISBN-10: 0807831719

ISBN-13: 9780807831717

ISBN-10: 0807885088

ISBN-13: 9780807885086

American citizens reside in a liberal democracy. but, even supposing democracy is greatly touted this day, liberalism is scorned by means of either the fitting and the left. the U.S. stands poised among its liberal democratic culture and the intolerant possible choices of liberalism's critics. In an enticing and informative dialogue, McGowan deals a ringing endorsement of yankee liberalism's simple rules, values, and commitments. He explains that the liberalism of the founders allotted strength greatly so that it will restrict the facility anyone entity may well workout over others. Their goal was once to supply for all an efficient freedom that mixed the perfect to self-determination having the ability to in achieving one's self-chosen objectives. In tracing this background, McGowan deals a transparent imaginative and prescient of liberalism's foundational values as America's top warrantly at the present time of liberty and the peace during which to workout it.

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Additional info for American Liberalism: An Interpretation for Our Time (H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series)

Sample text

Liberalism’s commitment to establishing a distinction between “private” and “public” domains does not necessarily generate the kinds of inequality in wealth that currently prevail in America. The fault lies in the content, not the structure. The private/public distinction is justified—and crucial—precisely as a limitation on state power. But much depends on how that distinction is drawn. And we should fully expect that the lines between public and private will be continually contested and will shift over time.

Freedom depends—only in part, but still in part—on citizens retaining some independence from the state, which means, among other things, not being totally dependent on the state for their livelihoods. Only citizens with a separate source of economic well-being can then stand up to the state, contesting its various dictates in courts of law or in various forms of political agitation. By the same token, citizens need the means to avoid total dependence on their employers. In a liberal polity, certain “private” realms exist outside the government’s purview.

The answer is partly historical. The American founders retained the English case law system even though the Americans also wrote a formal Constitution. The founders provided for the evolution of the Constitution through its continual testing by difficult, unexpected, and debatable cases. In other words, they understood that they could hardly expect, as they tried to project the new nation’s future needs, to anticipate every contingency that might arise. They also understood that no set of laws would eliminate conflict.

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American Liberalism: An Interpretation for Our Time (H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series) by John McGowan

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