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How autonomy becomes tyranny

A first-rate summary of why making individual autonomy the ultimate political standard doesn’t work: The Tyranny of Liberalism And Its Evil Root: Individual Autonomy as the End of the State. Sample quote:

“[N]o polity could be grounded in an ideology, which is nothing more than an aspect of a cultural inheritance about which one has become obsessive. Philosophical theorizing transmutes this aspect into the whole of experience: All history is the story of class struggle, or gender struggle, or race struggle, or a struggle for individual autonomy. In a country in the grip of an ideological style of politics, as the former Soviet Union was and America is today, a protracted cold war is necessarily waged against its own cultural inheritance.”

The piece is by paleoconservative philosophy professor Donald W. Livingstone. For a more sociologically-oriented piece, also very good, that touches on similar themes see Allan Carlson’s Individualism and Its Discontents.

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