I could & I have but I have pledged not to get too sucked into Twitter today. Short list of weaknesses of liberalism that need bearing in mind & mitigating when building a society on it to follow. I will not be able to discuss them though.
A fair criticism of liberalism from more radical elements of the left is that it works slowly. The reforming impulse is much better than the revolutionary one but the 'steady progress fixing one problem at a time" is more impressive in retrospect than in the moment.
A fair criticism of liberalism from the more conservative elements of the right is the opposite. Its constant efforts to reform everything & progress often fails to appreciate that large swathes of society like holding onto traditions for their own sake.
From the Marxist left: Your focus on the individual & universal often leaves too little attention for class issues.
From the Social Justice left: Your focus on the individual & universal often leaves too little attention for identity issues.
From all other elements: Your tolerance of is too expansive & gives leeway to intolerant belief systems to thrive. (nb SocJus will say this of toleration for right-wing illiberal attitudes but not their own & the other way round which is why liberal tolerance is needed.)
The final related flaw of liberalism which is unavoidable is that it can be used by people with illiberal value systems to defend their own interests when they are lacking the power to enforce them on the rest of society but they'd switch to doing that if they could.
Here's an example. (Settle down. No actual Christians or Muslims will be defamed in the making of this tweet.)
A conservative Christian or Muslim who would be opposed to liberalism in a society dominated by their own belief system & would punish or outlaw it would be very likely to support & use liberalism in a society where their system was in a minority position.
This can cause a problem if the leftist elements of a society doesn't have a strong enough conceptual grasp of liberal principles to recognise when this is happening but works on a more facile understanding of power dynamics that work by positions of dominance in society.
Here in the UK, the people highlighting this problem most are conceptually strong liberal Muslims & ex-Muslims who point out that leftist attempts to protect the marginalised that are identity-based rather than rooted in consistently liberal principles throw them under the bus.
In the well-intended goal of defending Muslim Brits from anti-Muslim bigotry, they defend Muslims & Islam as a whole which is then taken advantage of by illiberal & socially conservative Muslims to prevent criticism of their own illiberalism usually affecting liberal Muslims most
Conservative non-Muslims can usually see that this is happening very clearly & criticise the identitarian left for it accurately. However, their focus is not rooted in liberal principles either so their critiques creates as many problems as it observes.
Right-wing critique of Muslim conservative illiberalism in the UK is usually focused on how this could negatively affect the predominantly non-Muslim people & culture of the UK & their solution usually involves squashing out that illiberal system with their own.
At its most extreme form this is very clear & implicit & involves banning Islam & Muslims & imposing their own ultraconservative trad views on society which oppress women & the LGBT However, this is fringe lunacy & not representative of conservative thought.
Nevertheless, neither identitarian leftism nor socially conservative rightism advocates the consistent liberalism necessary for addressing the problem and tends towards blanket support or condemnation of groups for reasons of identity politics or defending a monolithic culture.
And both of them end up throwing liberal Muslims & ex-liberalisms under the bus. Some conservatives deny this & say they are objecting to the illiberalism & say so very explicitly when they refer to things like sexism, homophobia, gender specific modesty veiling & FGM. However,
If their solution to these illiberal practices & beliefs is to limit the presence of Muslims in the country, we can see that they're not actually objecting to the illiberal practices & beliefs because they harm people but just want them to happen somewhere else.
So the solution to the potential problem of illiberal people using liberal systems for their own convenience while retaining illiberal beliefs that they'd impose on others in a heartbeat if they could is not less liberalism but more liberalism & more consistent liberalism.
This means having a strong conception of what liberalism is, recognising when illiberalism exists even in a minority group that experiences prejudice & objecting to that consistently while supporting the liberals of each group who are addressing it on the level of ideas.
Yes, I am aware that my thread allegedly about admitting the weaknesses of liberalism has turned into extolling the virtues of liberalism while criticising Social Justice Leftism & social conservatism, but what do you want from me? I'm single-minded.

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More from @HPluckrose

19 Sep
If you find yourself repeatedly trying to explain to someone what a sentence means while they refuse to accept that & keep telling you what it means even though you were the one who wrote it, you are wasting your time. This is not a serious or honest thinker.
We really don't have time for word games. Too many people want to win a war by spinning damning narratives around those who disagree with them & then trying to spread them. This feels virtuous to them because that is a Bad Person whose credibility needs to be destroyed. It isn't.
For example, the narrative about me among the zealous True Believers in the gender critical sphere is that I said I hate gender critical feminists (or women) & that I tried to pressure a butch lesbian friend into transitioning into a man. Neither of those things are true.
Read 18 tweets
19 Sep
No, that's what passes as a tweet. I've very glad you don't claim all whites are racist but it's not a strawman to say this is a claim. And you now seem to be saying it's not a strawman for me to say it is claimed there is a unique voice of colour either but that this is true.
This happens all the time. The objection seems to quickly go from "But Social Justice scholars don't say that!" to "But Social Justice Scholars are right to say that!" and the person seems oblivious that these two positions are in opposition or even different.
There is no "unique voice of color" on the subject of racism & I don't know how anyone who has ever read more than a handful of books by scholars of racism who are black and continue to claim that there is. They do what all scholars of anything do. Disagree with each other.
Read 7 tweets
19 Sep
Sometimes I annoy people because I do have a sense of gender identity. That is, I am pretty sure I feel like a woman rather than just know & apply to myself the name for the people who produce large gametes.
If I say this, I am then asked to explain what it means to 'feel like a woman' without referring to any gender stereotypes. However, I think stereotypes are often a product of accurate pattern recognition.
Read 7 tweets
18 Sep
This would seem to imply that the thing that happened was in some way related to people throwing other people under buses for a few bucks, though. That didn't happen. I vaguely remember a tedious argument about objectivism & subjectivism that bored me so I blocked.
This is a weird thing that happens sometimes. I don't have a lot of personal patience for certain ways of looking at things. These tend to be postmodern, theological or metaphysical ways which revel in ambiguity and notions of truth which are not about evidence & reason.
An important thing to understand here is that this doesn't mean I regard people who do as immoral or feel any need to oppose them. It just means I get very bored. Some people like that stuff. That's OK. Only if I can't get away from it do I get annoyed & bark at it. Usually I can
Read 7 tweets
18 Sep
Yes, this is why I say this kind of woke standpoint epistemology (tying knowledge & values to identity) is best understood as a kind of Orientalism. (cont)
Orientalism was defined by Edward Said as a way in which western defined the East in negative terms in order to present the West in positive opposing terms.

eg, We are advanced & you are primitive. We are rational & you are irrational. We are scientific & you are superstitious.
The West, he said, constructed the East primarily to function as a foil for how the West wanted to see itself. This, I think, is what is happening now when wokeists get very annoyed when non-White or non-Western people won't act as the necessary foil to enable wokeness.
Read 8 tweets
17 Sep
Princeton will need to explain that it doesn't mean 'racism' in the common understanding of prejudice & discrimination on the grounds of race but in the sense of the invisible systems of power & privilege understood by Critical Social Justice to permeate everything.
I don't think the Education Department should make them jump through hoops to show that. That would seem punitive but I do think it could be valuable to have the president define his terms very clearly & explain doing so as the head of an ideologically diverse student body.
The president of Princeton should, of course, be able to state his own beliefs openly, but if he is speaking for the university as a whole, he should expect to be asked to clarify what precisely he is claiming to be the state of a publicly funded institution.
Read 10 tweets

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