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January 03, 2008



I found your comment interesting, but perhaps you could elaborate on this point:

"But more importantly, Julian overlooks the way that cultural-libertarian circumspection about importing comprehensive doctrines into politics and law is only one facet of a larger circumspection about the practice of politics generally. The same impulse that leads toward the good idea of not officializing ideologies and doctrines in political regimes leads toward the bad idea of turning over the practice of politics to centralized and efficient neutral political scientists, who will master the systems analysis that can manage the flows of resources that free individuals have permitted the government to worry about for them."

For the purpose of clarification, are you arguing that cultural libertarianism, by virtue of its ability to distract us with trivial novelties, displaces interest away from the political? Why is this a zero-sum trade-off?

Isn't it more likely that the logic of social pluralism would further discredit the notion that our most vexing political and economic controversies should be arbitrated by a "neutral" technocratic elite? If we recognize that officializing an ideology is undesirable precisely because a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work in a fluid, socially-diverse culture, doesn't that suggest that a centralized, technocratic approach would be equally ill-suited to a dynamic and diverse political culture?

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