Liberal Commentary

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Mastodon posts

By way of experimentation, I have obtained an account on Mastodon (which is a proposed replacement for Twitter) and posted some information about paraliberalism in a thread there. The following are the posts that have appeared so far on the Mastodon node The third post exceeds the size limit in, so I have only entered its first part there, with a link to the full text follows here.

I am also setting up an account on the node fediphilosophy which has a more reasonable post size limit.


1) #introduction

Hello, my major interest is to contribute to the advancement and the defense of Liberalism. Although often taken for granted, #liberalism is also being challenged from several sides: by self-proclaimed illiberals and empire-builders (eg Putin), but also by many others. One part in such a defense must be to have a clear notion of what you are defending. For this purpose I have defined #paraliberalism (tb cont:d).

Btw, I am a professor emeritus at Linköping University in Sweden.


2) thread on #paraliberalism, cont:d.

Many of its opponents criticize #liberalism for its lack of a clear stand on #values and #morality, and liberalism is itself ambigous in that respect. The following distinction is important:

#ortoliberalism holds that values are a private matter where the state shall not engage itself;

#paraliberalism holds that a set of *society-founding values* is necessary in a state, and that it has a legitimate role in defining, promoting and supporting these.


3) On the preservation of Planet Earth, in the thread on #paraliberalism,

Another recurring criticism of #liberalism, especially from the religious side, is that it does not recognize any higher goal for humans or for mankind, outside of mankind itself. However, from the standpoint of paraliberalism, there are two major or 'cardinal' goals: safeguarding the #autonomy of individuals and of nations, and the #sustainability of the environment on our planet.

The latter qualifies as a goal outside ourselves, and it applies both to individuals and to nations. This view also means that nations are seen as moral agents, just like individuals are.

Since the sustainability of climate and environment is a global issue, it can only be achieved if nations cooperate. This implies that imperialism is unacceptable in the world of today, since it is incompatible with cooperation between nations.

This is one example of how #paraliberalism proposes a coherent account of #liberalism that corresponds to the needs of the world of today. Questions, comments and debate are welcome. Please label your contributions with #paraliberalism so that they can be searched for effectively.