Critical Review 4 (3):327-343 (1990)

Ryszard Legutko
Jagiellonian University
In a departure from traditional Western political theory that is reminiscent of left?wing anarchism, contemporary libertarianism rejects the necessity of making political choices based on a value hierarchy, instead claiming that it is possible for all individuals to pursue their divergent values simultaneously?as long as each respects the equal rights of others to do the same. The caveat, however, hides a conflict of loyalties that would plague a libertarian society: on the one hand are the particular loyalties of one's preferred Utopian community; on the other hand, loyalty to the larger ?framework for utopias?; within which one's utopia exists. The second loyalty implies a value relativism incompatible with the first one, meaning either that loyalty to the libertarian framework will undermine the utopias within it, or that the particular values of the utopias will destabilize the libertarian framework. The durability of a libertarian society, then, requires a mentality best characterized as nihilistic. In this, libertarianism differs from liberalism but is surprisingly similar to the cultural diversity movement. The thesis is illustrated by examining John Gray's attempt to eschew both a hierarchy of values and moral relativism.
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DOI 10.1080/08913819008459608
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Liberalism, State, and Community.Peter Simpson - 1994 - Critical Review 8 (2):159-173.
Economic Consequentialism and Beyond.Jeffrey Friedman - 1994 - Critical Review 8 (4):493-502.
Shopping‐Mall Liberalism: Reply to Legutko.Jan Narveson - 1991 - Critical Review 5 (1):129-134.

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