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Liberalism is a political philosophy based on human rights.
Liberalism took shape in the European Enlightenment.
Referring to the Hambach Fest as the "Hamburger Fest" also deflates the reader's confidence in the author's analysis of pre-March liberalism (135).
The pessimistic tone of this passage, though curiously at odds with the supposed triumph of liberalism, is quite characteristic of this book, which is the outcome of a conference held in 1993 on the liberal political tradition.
One of the more substantial pieces is Bellamy's careful critique of Rawls's so-called political liberalism for not being political enough.
After all, is there no way of saying that liberalism is morally superior to National Socialism?
And indeed Gray notes that National Socialism is excluded by Berlin's requirement of "minimal universalism." According to Gray, this is a small concession: Recognizing a "common moral horizon" for the human species may disqualify some ideas of the good life (e.g., Nazi ideas), but it does not ground or privilege liberalism. This raises the question of what, exactly, liberalism is.
Merquior provides a clear summary of the current state of debate in its historical perspective, but is less successful in addressing the tricky question of the defining characteristics of liberalism as distinct from all those other tendencies with which liberals may make common cause.
Liberalism Old and New intends, the Preface tells us, to demonstrate that liberalism, though chiefly an Anglo-Saxon artefact, received signal contributions from elsewhere in Europe.
Speaking of the state, Ryan reminds the reader that, historically, liberals at one time have thought that liberalism was threatened by democracy and at another that liberalism entailed democracy, "What liberalism is always committed to," he says, "is constitutional government." How this is achieved has no fixed answer.
In Ryan's account, liberalism places a high value on liberty and equality.
The author agrees that there exist kinds of liberalism--"crusading liberalism" or "modern triumphalist liberalism" (6)--which indeed deserve to be criticized.