Posted by: captainfalcon | June 15, 2011

More Liberalism

From an article by Alasdair MacIntyre:

When a particular political agent or group of political agents assert both a set of political principles and a philosophical theory in association with these principles … the practical principles and the philosophical theory may stand in either of two quite different relationships. On the one hand the philosophical theory may consist, partially or wholly, in elucidations of the key expressions used in the statement both of the political principles and of their application to particular cases. In such a case, if we do not understand the philosophical theory, we shall fail to understand the political principles. But the theory and the principles may stand in a quite different relationship. For the theory may provide not an elucidation of the principles, but a mask behind which their true meaning and importance is concealed. The theory may be an ideological instrument, which enables those who profess the principles to deceive not only others but also themselves as to the character of their political action.

[Liberalism has] a view of politics as the offering of alternatives to rational individuals who then make choices for which they are morally responsible. Right politics is offering the right values to individuals and if they reject them, then we are entitled to condemn them unless they were disabled by invincible ignorance. So the liberal view of politics is indeed precisely ideological in that it conceals from view all those social facts which have to do with ideology. It turns out to be no accident that liberals should turn to something like the end-of-ideology thesis.

An interesting series of posts on ideology begins here.


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