Liberal absolutes in conflict

A conflict of liberal absolutes: Minneapolis Library workers sue over porn. Under liberalism, patrons have an absolute and unquestionable right to view whatever materials they wish. The alternative, since it’s a public library, is state censorship by the very institution charged to make information publicly available. On the other hand, female workers also have an absolute and unquestionable right, one to a “non-harassing” work environment in which being female raises no issues. The solution when the rights conflict? Demand $450,000 a head for the workers, and then wait for the Supreme Court to cut the Gordian knot (or cut the baby in half).

Liberal academics say that a selling point for their view is that by eliminating transcendent references it reduces all issues to a common human ground on which all things are negotiable, and thus prevents intractable ideological conflicts. It’s obvious that the opposite is true: liberalism multiplies this-worldly absolutes, and by abolishing any possible principle of unity among the contending parties makes peace impossible apart from a comprehensive system of force and manipulation.

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