Monday, July 06, 2020

Corey Robin
Why would a liberal opposed to the Hobbesian vision of absolute power resort to such a Hobbesian style of argument? Because Montesquieu, like Hobbes, lacked a positive conception of human ends, true for all people, in which to ground his political vision. Montesquieu’s liberalism was not the egalitarian liberalism of the century to come, nor was it the conscience-stricken protoliberalism of the century it had left behind. Unlike Locke, whose argument for toleration was powered by a vision of religious truth, and unlike later figures such as Rousseau or Mill, whose arguments for freedom were driven by secular visions of human flourishing, Montesquieu pursued no beckoning light.
Osita Nwanevu quotes David Brooks
The American dream of equal opportunity, social mobility and ever more perfect democracy cherishes the future more than the past. It abandons old wrongs and transcends old sins for the sake of a better tomorrow. This dream is a secular faith that has unified people across every known divide. It has unleashed ennobling energies and mobilized heroic social reform movements. By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future.
“Excessive realism”—a remarkable phrase in the service of a remarkable argument.
Count me in favor of excessive realism. Nwanevu is still more interested in "Truth".

Nwanevu restates Brooks' title blankly –“Listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates While White”– all of them blind to the irony of a self-identified white man claims a right to return to the Middle East.

Watching high-achieving children of dark skinned immigrants, Nwanevu and Jilani, debating and celebrating the American Dream
The word “liberalism” has grown many bizarre and contradictory appendages and meanings over the years, particularly in the United States, but the original ideas central to it are fairly clear. Liberalism is an ideology of the individual⁠. Its first principle is that each and every person in society is possessed of a fundamental dignity and can claim certain ineradicable rights and freedoms. Liberals believe, too, in government by consent and the rule of law: The state cannot exercise wholly arbitrary power, and its statutes bind all equally.

Overall, the liberal ideal is a diverse, pluralistic society of autonomous people guided by reason and tolerance. The dream is harmonious coexistence. But liberalism also happens to excel at generating dissensus, and some of the major sociopolitical controversies of the past few years should be understood as conflicts not between liberalism and something else but between parties placing emphasis on different liberal freedoms⁠—chiefly freedom of speech, a popular favorite which needs no introduction, and freedom of association, the under-heralded right of individuals to unite for a common purpose or in alignment with a particular set of values. Like free speech, freedom of association has been enshrined in liberal democratic jurisprudence here and across the world; liberal theorists from John Stuart Mill to John Rawls have declared it one of the essential human liberties. Yet associative freedom is often entirely absent from popular discourse about liberalism and our political debates, perhaps because liberals have come to take it entirely for granted.
No mention of freedom of wealth and property, and libertarianism, the thread that links most of the people he's talking about.
The word “liberalism” has grown many bizarre and contradictory appendages and meanings over the years, particularly in the United States, but the original ideas central to it are fairly clear. 
They were never clear, or non-contradictory.
Within the present economy, more and more companies are beginning to make strategic and superficial concessions on race and other issues. How important can a movement be, it’s often been asked, if the most heinous corporations and institutions in the world can glom onto it and earn praise for meaningless statements and gestures?
They're not meaningless as all. Racism was once good for business, and now it's not.

Nwanevu has the most detailed LinkedIn page I've ever seen, and it's up to date. He got 710 on his English SAT and was a "Peer Trainer" with the ADL.
Jilani likes to point out the Nigerians are the most successful immigrant community in the US.

Jilani, and Williams quoting Julian Benda
Yes, you can work with people for years without drinking with them on the weekends. Black people work with racists.  Jews work with anti-Semites.

Nwanevu
All told, liberal society in the U.S. is, at best, just over half a century old: If it were a person, it would be too young to qualify for Medicare.
According to his LinkedIn page, Nwanevu maxed out every AP test but World History.  And in 2012 he was an intern for Tim Kaine.

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