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Liberalism's Ethical Morass Makes the Deplorables Seem Not So Bad After All

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In his article in the New Republic Warren Breckman described liberalism as a moral condition, a state of behavior and mind. He quotes a 1920s contributor to the same magazine, John Dewey, who argued there were 'two streams' of liberalism — "one was anchored in laissez-faire economics, worshipped the 'gospel of individualism,' and served as a toady of big industry and banking. The other was humanitarian and open to government interventions and social legislation" But the true American liberalism, wrote Dewey, stood for “liberality and generosity, especially of mind and character.”

 

For almost two millennia, [Helena] Rosenblatt contends, being liberal meant displaying the civic virtues. Clearly an aristocratic ethos, liberality in its Roman, medieval, and early modern forms supported the concept of noblesse oblige and, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the ideal of the gentleman who showed tolerance and munificence toward his inferiors.:snip:

 

 

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