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PHIL 240 Place of Liberty - Objections to Liberalism

Course Code
PHIL 240
Adam Etinson

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Marxist objections to liberalism
Political emancipation vs human emancipation
Max sees political emancipation as providing equal rights by law. This was seen in
the US, even in the mid 1800s. However, political emancipation doesn't mean
discrimination cannot exist. That would require human emancipation.
Marxists view liberal rights as an obstacle to human emancipation, for these rights
are egoistic rights of separation, and that encourage individuals to view others as
limitations to his or her own freedom. In a fully emancipated society, individuals
would see themselves as belonging to a greater and fully cooperating community
of equals.
Liberalism was a great advance from the hierarchical systems predating it. Yet,
liberalism is only a shallow, intermediate step towards full human emancipation.
Shares Marx's objections to t he atomism of individuals in liberalism.
Communitarians argue that humans are thoroughly social beings, and that our
identities and self-understandings are bound up in our communities and social
interactions. Without the community, we would be set on a path of individual
isolation and dislocation of society.
Places importance on customary morality, and reform should be governed by
customs and traditions.
Negative vs Positive liberty
Negative Liberty – one is free to the extent that one is able to make one's own
choices about how to live
Positive Liberty – one is free by being in a position to make right choices about
how to live
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