The following look at liberalism is an excerpt from the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom, taken from the name of an Internet-based talk radio show I did in times past. The topic of chapter seven is literally entitled “Liberalism.” My unique and seasoned partner in dialogue is noted author and philososopher, Steven Law, Ph.D. His words are indicated by the initials S.L, and mine are J.M. For paragraphs with no initials, assume they are a continuation of the speaker who was speaking in the previous paragraph. I highlight words having to do with values and virtues by placing them in boldface type.
“The broad liberal objective is a balanced and flexible ‘mixed economy,’ thus seeking to occupy that middle ground between capitalism and socialism whose viability has so long been denied by both capitalists and socialists.”~ Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
JM: I’d like to tell you about Stephen Law, Ph.D., an impressive British philosopher and author. He has written a number of books which are relevant to the present topic: The Philosophy Files, The Philosophy Files 2, The Complete Philosophy Files, Humanism: a Very Short Introduction, and The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking. The last book is one that I own, and it asks interesting questions such as, Is time travel possible? Does God exist? Should you be eating meat? And, Could a machine think?
As his bio for that book reads: “Expelled from sixth-form college, Stephen Law worked as a postman for several years until he discovered philosophy. Despite not having any A levels, he managed to gain a university place. Stephen took a first and went on to Trinity College, Oxford, and then Queens College, Oxford, where he held a junior research fellowship and earned a doctorate. Stephen now lectures in philosophy at the University of London. He is the editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy’s popular journal, Think.”
“My faith has been the driving thing of my life. I think it is important that people who are perceived as liberals not be afraid of talking about moral and community values.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman
…I think Stephen Law speaks carefully and strikes one as genteel, but the ideas he has are defended strongly, and it’s difficult to read The Philosophy Gym without being compelled to make solid decisions for yourself about what you believe.
He’s saying that there is a lot at stake here; if you think about the title of his upcoming book, The War for Children’s Minds, it implies that we ought to make a determination soon about how we should educate and raise children. Do we tell them what to think and believe? Do we ingrain in them what is right and good? Or do we merely facilitate their learning and help them to discover truths and facts relatively independently? That raises the question: Will children create a Lord of the Flies kind of future, or will they avoid the pitfalls of tradition, bad habits, and orthodoxy to progress beyond our current state of learning and development?
Thank you for joining me, Dr. Law. May I call you Stephen?
SL: Yes, indeed.
JM: Great. I want to share with the listener some of the points you raise in your book, The Philosophy Gym. Basically, you ask 25 interesting philosophical questions, all challenging, and then attempt to provide some background, insight, and perhaps, direct the reader toward an answer. Let me provide a sampling of the perspectives you share in the book, The Philosophy Gym:
“Moral questions are important questions that science cannot answer. Take the question of whether we should genetically design our children. Science may one day allow us to do so. It can’t tell us whether we should do so. It’s with such questions that philosophers grapple; deep questions that appear to reach beyond the point where science might provide us with answers.”
“We view certain actions as being right or wrong. But according to many philosophers, this value is not intrinsic to those actions. Rather, it’s rooted in our experience, and how we react emotionally to what we observe. …I call this the spectacles model of morality. Many philosophers, perhaps most famously David Hume (1711-1776) have been drawn to some version of it. But others remain strongly opposed: they believe that the wrongness of an act (such as stealing) is an objective property of the act, a property that attaches to such acts anyway, whatever our view on stealing might be. Which, if either, theory of morality is correct? I have to admit, I’m pretty confused.”
“We all want knowledge. We want to know when the bus is coming, what’s for dinner, and how the economy will do next year. We respect those who have knowledge, seeking them out for advice. And yet, despite the enormous value we place on knowledge, we quickly become stuck when we ask ourselves, ‘What is knowledge?’ It’s the sort of question that we think we can answer easily— until we try.”
“Reasonableness is a matter of degree. Beliefs can be very reasonable (“Japan exists”), fairly reasonable (“quarks exist”), not unreasonable (“there’s intelligent life on other planets”), or downright unreasonable (“fairies exist”). There’s a scale of reasonableness, if you like, with very reasonable beliefs near the top and deeply unreasonable ones towards the bottom. Notice a belief can be very high up the scale yet still be open to some doubt, and even when a belief is low down we can still acknowledge the remote possibility it might be true.”
JM: You also say, in a related vein, in your book Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole:
“The idea that it is, at the very least, unwise to accept claims for which we possess little or no supporting evidence is certainly widespread. The next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: ‘What kind of evidence is there for that?’ And if they can’t give you a good answer, I hope you’ll think very carefully before you believe a word they say.”
“One of the Ten Commandments handed down to Moses was, ‘Thou shall not kill.’ But is it always wrong to kill? Most of us believe that there are exceptions to the rule. We believe, for example, that it would be morally acceptable to shoot dead a maniac about to embark on a shooting spree in a school playground if that was the only way to stop him. How about killing one innocent person in order to save another; is that ever morally acceptable?”
“We think of ourselves as able to make free choices on which we can act. Surely, I’m free to choose between working today or not working, having a cup of coffee or doing without, stealing from the supermarket or acting honestly. That’s the ‘common-sense’ view. We also suppose that when a person acts nobly and generously, they deserve our praise, and that when they act badly they deserve condemnation or even punishment. But is any of this true? As we discover in this chapter, the findings of science appear to suggest otherwise.”
JM: All interesting points. My first question today is, Does liberalism lead to a permissive and “morally-relativistic” life, where “anything goes” (and a society marked by such a state)? If you ask someone what they wish, and allow them the freedom to decide what to believe and what to value rather than to require citizens to accede to the requirements and norms of society (as dictated by authority), will they end up going off on an undesirable path?
Are not dark phenomena such as witch hunts, Lord of the Flies (as depicted by Golding), cults, “banksters” wrecking economies, and loners in the mold of Ted Kaczynski the unfortunate results of a society where there is no notion of the common good – a well-integrated society informed by a high-minded, communitarian ethic? When does freedom disintegrate into mere license?
SL: Well, that’s a good question. It gets to the heart of this whole debate. What I am defending is the view that people should be encouraged to think for themselves, and apply their own intelligence. But I’m not of the view that people should be allowed to do whatever— of course they shouldn’t; we should have laws. If little Johnny gets into his head that it’s okay to steal from old ladies, well, he needs to be prevented from doing that, of course. I’m all for encouraging people to make their own minds up, but that doesn’t mean that I’m in favor of letting anyone do whatever they like. Absolutely not.
“Toleration and freedom and fairness are values too, and they can hardly be defended by the claim that no values can be defended. So it is a mistake to affirm liberal values by arguing that all values are merely subjective. The relativist defense of liberalism is no defense at all.” ~ Michael J. Sandel
Individuals should, however, be encouraged to think and make their own judgments. It’s much healthier for a society that individuals do that versus some authority doing it on their behalf. At least, if individuals are doing it, they are in a position to correct each other. We could have a conversation with little Johnny about what’s right and wrong, and we can show him the error of his ways, for example.
Whereas, if we’re all deferring to some external authority, errors or unjust decisions will go corrected by nobody. A society governed by a powerful moral authority to which all individuals respectfully defer is ultimately a very dangerous thing. In fact, if you look around the world at the great 20th century horrors (examples of man’s inhumanity to man), it is without exception highly authoritarian societies which have gone in for that kind of barbarism — not healthy, liberal democracies. So, I think there is a very good case for encouraging society to be rigorously liberal in the sense that I’ve defined it.
The other thing you touched on, which is hugely important, and which I’m kind of hinting at with the title of the book The War for Children’s Minds, is that there is this “culture war mythology” which posits the following dark dichotomy: either return to authority-based moral education (religious, typically) or stick with “the liberal elite and their fancy relativist ideas,” and see our society fail utterly, because, as we all know, liberals are bound by moral relativism.
“There must be a course between the soggy sands of relativism and the cold rocks of dogmatism.” ~ Simon Blackburn
That is a myth. Most of my colleagues here in the UK would certainly describe themselves as liberals and would undoubtedly endorse liberalism as I’ve defined it on your program. But none of them are relativists. In fact, liberalism is profoundly opposed to moral relativism. The word relativist is used as a smear to discredit liberals, and it’s wholly unfair.
The fact is, if you’re encouraging individuals to think, and make their own judgments, that’s because you perceive that there is some truth there to discover, to know. If you are a relativist and you think that all moral points of view are equally good, there’s no point in thinking about anything because whatever moral point of view you end up with cannot be any truer than the one that you started with.
The kind of liberalism I’m defending here is rooted in The Enlightenment. You can be sure that as soon as you stand up and say that you’re a liberal, religious authoritarians and conservatives are going to rubbish you as a “moral relativist.” It’s just not true.
JM: Very well. I have found some quotations relative to moral relativism I would like to share:
“If morality is simply a matter of personal opinion, then there is no point in trying to use rational arguments to convince the racist or the serial killer that what he did was wrong – any more than it would make sense to try to convince me that I don’t like cashew nuts.” ~ Judith A. Boss
“In old days, truth was absolute, eternal, and superhuman. Myself when young accepted this view and devoted a misspent youth to the search for truth. But a whole host of enemies have arisen to slay truth: pragmatism, behaviorism, psychologism, relativity-physics.” ~ Bertrand Russell
“The search for truth is a struggle: part of a war against chaos, a strenuous ritual to wrest reality from doubt by naming its parts – a spell to save it from being engulfed in nothingness. Relativism, subjectivism, and deconstruction could all break the spell.” ~ Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way – it does not exist.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
“Relativism, a stream in the philosophy of the last two hundred years that began as a trickle, has swelled in recent times into a roaring torrent.” ~ Richard J. Bernstein
JM: One claim that liberals have to contend with is the fact that if polarized and exaggerated, toleration and open-mindedness toward differing values and viewpoints supposedly results in relativism. The extreme form of individualism and libertarianism (from the same root word as liberal, liberality, and liberty) holds that one can do whatever drug, perform an abortion in whichever trimester, and make as much money from the labor of others as they wish.
But in fact, moral relativism makes it impossible to differentiate slavery from liberty, polygamy from respect for women, and austere capitalism from democratic socialism. One cannot claim to be better or more righteous than the other, objectively. Live and let live – or die; it doesn’t really matter. What do you think?
“The liberals’ insistence that politics be neutral on moral and religious matters was misguided in principle and costly in practice. As a philosophical matter, it is by no means clear that government can or should be neutral on the pressing moral questions of the day. The civil rights laws legislated morality, and rightly so. Not only did they ban odious practices like the segregation of lunch counters; they also aimed at changing moral sentiments.” ~ Michael J. Sandel
SL: Certainly, it can be quite tempting to appeal to relativism— particularly moral relativism— in order to encourage people to be more tolerant of and sensitive towards other cultures. Relativists often present themselves as the defenders of open-mindedness, equality, and freedom. Those who oppose relativism are often portrayed as arrogant, as believing themselves incapable of error, and as fascistically wishing to impose their own brand of ‘absolute’ truth on everyone else. This sort of political justification for relativism has a certain superficial appeal. It is quite popular in certain academic circles.
But the fact remains that the justification is fatally flawed. In fact, tolerance, sensitivity, and open-mindedness are not the unique preserve of the relativist. Tolerance and sensitivity toward other cultures and moral points of view do not require that you accept other individuals’ or cultures’ points of view are correct.
“John Dewey, the most important American humanist of the twentieth century, defined liberalism as a method for solving social problems, a method of inquiry and not a specific platform or program. Accordingly, if one is committed to critical inquiry, one should be willing to change one’s politics in the light of new evidence and altered circumstances.” ~ Paul Kurtz
JM: Understood. Well, one thing that’s on my mind is that we in America (and I’m not very familiar with the state of the UK), have an educational system that is fairly weak in that “technical mastery” sense – we don’t really teach (or learn) science/math or English very well. The problems with education are fairly evident and will become increasingly so as globalization and automation grow. Both proponents of CORE and STEM approaches and advocates of liberal education have complaints that are valid. We seem to be paying teachers poorly and yet require that they inculcate in youth the habits and skills required of our fairly individualistic society of workers and consumers. And, shore up family problems which both the schools and society at large seem uninterested in really fixing. Many don’t go to college, and quite a few go to prison. Those who do attend university often can’t read at a 12th grade level as freshmen.
On the other hand, we also don’t competently teach children ethics, civics, art, music, etc. We teach norms, rules, prescribed behaviors, etc., but only from the perspective of memorization, not anything that leaves room for individuals to develop virtues such as wisdom, critical thinking, or character.
I believe that the progressive enterprise, if you will, was never fully implemented and has been fading for decades. Michael J. Sandel draws a straight line between Robert F. Kennedy’s lamentations about the state of society and his dream of a better nation and today’s state. In fact, conservative-religious approaches (à la the Moral Majority and Reaganism) haven’t done much to slow our descent into a basically disjointed and individualistic society. They seem to have crippled liberalism and not really provided a decent alternative. President Trump’s spineless words about white supremacists would never have seen daylight if America was a more truly liberal nation.
“There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other, how to live.” ~ John Adams
…Thus, we seem to be mostly unmoored and ineffectual and starving for greater meaning. The “malaise days” of Carter were merely glossed over during the 1980s (dare I say, gilded). The financial irresponsibility that led to the S&L Scandal morphed into a recession two years after this interview took place. The last time we as a society were asked to join together and sacrifice was, I think, 1941.
I will note that character education and various forms of alternative education such as Montessori education have some merit, but are not implemented on a wide scale at all (and can be tainted by an unnecessary and dubious connection to protestant Christian dogma in certain applications). We’re left with a majority of the American public which is, to put it precisely, ignorant in significant ways. It seems clear to me that there is a correlation between our state of affairs and the theory that the ownership class wishes people to remain relatively dumb and distracted so that they will produce much labor, consume many goods, vote according to plan, and toe the line.
“A liberal education…frees a man from the prison of his class, race, time, place, background, family, and even his nation.” ~ Robert M. Hutchins
Search for more quotations about liberalism in The Wisdom Archive. Free. Fantastic.
…So, my question is: If one removes the “safety valves” and the structure and indicates to people, “Think for yourself,” will we not end up with a dystopia; will the oligarchs not continue to unduly influence important aspects of American life? I know you like professor Jonathan Glover, who had this to say in an interview in The Guardian, about independent thinking (I perceive it as bolstering your view that liberalism leads to positive ends):
“If you look at the people who sheltered Jews under the Nazis, you find a number of things about them. One is that they tended to have a different kind of upbringing from the average person: they were likely brought up in a non-authoritarian way, to have sympathy with other people, and to discuss things rather than just do what they were told.”
SL: Well, I think for myself; most of my friends think for themselves; we’re not running around stealing from supermarkets, and all of our children seem pretty well-adjusted. There is, of course, probably more strongly in the U.S., this sort of “Straussian” line that, “Well, the thing about Enlightenment and its emphasis on getting people to reason and discover the truth and make up their own minds is that the truth is a dangerous thing, and it really isn’t a good idea to let too many people find out the truth because they are simply not equipped to handle it.” I believe that Leo Strauss’s view (that is said to be highly influential in Washington, D.C.), is that we need to make sure that the truth about religion and salvation doesn’t get out…. An awful lot of people seem drawn to this idea.
The question is: Are we going to let society go down the pan if people think for themselves (and will perhaps discover truths that we might would prefer they not discover)? If you look at Western Europe, Canada, and so forth, you’ll find lots of atheists and liberals living very well and contentedly. Our societies, in many ways, look healthier than the United States – people who are far more religious. Critics say that we’re just living on the “religious capital” of previous generations, and once that runs out, we’ll see what happens. That’s an empirical claim; where’s the evidence to back it up? There really isn’t any. There is pretty good empirical evidence that we really don’t need religious belief to have strong, healthy, moral societies. If you look to Asia, for example, you’ll find that their morality is certainly not rooted in a transcendental being, or religion.
I think our best hope for the future is to make people the best “truth-detectors” they can be, really; to educate them to be sharp-witted, clear-thinking, skeptical individuals. I don’t see how you can have a healthy democracy without citizens who’ve been raised in that sort of way. It seems to me profoundly dangerous to keep them all “morally coddled” and “deliberately dim”; that seems to be a recipe for disaster. Jonathan Glover wrote, “Teaching people to think rationally and critically actually can make a difference to people’s susceptibility toward false ideologies.”
“Democrats, progressives, liberals, and leftists need to talk up our own moral values: advancing justice and kindness; providing for the homeless, and the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and those without health insurance; tending to the environment…; respecting international law; and not waging needless, reckless war. And we need to defend the basic American value of the separation of church and state.” ~ Matthew Rothschild
JM: I see what you’re saying, and I think I agree. I just worry that considering the way that the power structure works (at least, here in America), that if we were to let go of those safety clamps, we would just start to drift because our religion is not truly suited to cohere a free, liberal society and our other institutions are inadequate. Further, if there is insufficient social welfare and character education, then will we not raise mere consumers, sports fans, gun collectors, hedonists, group-thinkers, or solipsists?
Philosopher John Rawls, a noted libertarian (in a sense), wrote: “Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override…. The rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of political interests.”
That isn’t directly relevant to moral relativism, but it does get at the idea of whether society has a right or an interest in requiring that the individual bend to the will of the whole. In this debate, Rawls would come down on the side of an unfettered self. And, though complex, I think this quote is also relevant to the discussion:
“Political liberalism assumes that, for political purposes, a plurality of reasonable yet incompatible comprehensive doctrines is the normal result of human reason within the framework of the free institutions of a constitutional democratic regime.” ~ John Rawls
Sandel’s book on justice differentiates a Rawlsian liberalism from a more communitarian ethic, and comes down clearly on the side of making sure a vacuum is not created when liberals are loath to clearly state what they value and why it is good for every citizen:
“A public life empty of moral meanings and shared ideals does not secure freedom but offers an open invitation to intolerance. As the Moral Majority has shown, a politics whose moral resources are diminished with disuse lies vulnerable to those who would impose narrow moralisms. Fundamentalists rush in where liberals fear to tread.” ~ Michael J. Sandel
…Let’s talk about toleration, liberalism, and peace. Your book has some relevance to this currently-hot topic of radical Islam. I think it also points to what can be called “religious fundamentalism” here in America, and if we are not experiencing a clash of civilizations, we are close to it. On the one hand, it is Islamic vs. Christian and Jewish. But perhaps equally fundamentally it is religious orthodoxy and political totalitarianism (of the Muslim stripe) against secular, liberal, Western, capitalistic, enlightened, materialistic, pluralistic, humanistic, etc. I think you paint with a broad-brush stroke when you characterize religious fundamentalism in any shape or form as problematic. What do you say?
SL: It is, I think, fair to say that there is something notably wrong in the Islamic world – but I think we should give them some credit for our own Western Enlightenment because, to some extent, we do owe the world of Islam a great deal. Islam never really experienced a full-blown Enlightenment of its own; it didn’t have its Galileos and its revolutions so far as the overthrow of religious authority in particular is concerned. I have colleagues who work in supposedly secular Arab states and they tell me they would certainly lose their jobs if they were to arrange a conference at which religious ideas were open to criticism. They are, in many places, profoundly illiberal. If you were to cast off your Islamic faith in many Islamic countries, you would be executed; the penalty for failing to believe what you are told is death…
“The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people, and must be willing to bear the expenses of it.” ~ John Adams
…Of course, the West has moved on to a large extent, but we are beginning to drift back towards authority. There is a kind of “counter-Enlightenment” beginning to grow in the West – not just in regard to calls for people to defer to religious authority rather than thinking for themselves — but also when it comes to things like “young Earth creationism.” Those teaching science in universities are complaining that they are having to fight the battles of the Enlightenment all over again; that the Bible is not just considered authoritative on moral issues, but on scientific issues, too. And that everything has to be made to fit what is said in the Bible, particularly in Genesis.
So there is a drift away from enlightened values toward a far more entrenched, religious, authoritarian position – obviously in the Islamic world, but also in some parts of the Western world, particularly in the U.S. I do find that really pretty scary, I must say. I note in The Philosophy Gym that:
“Those who have never taken a step back to look at the wider picture of their life – those who have lived wholly unexamined lives – are not only rather shallow, they are potentially dangerous. One great lesson of the 20th century is that human beings, no matter how ‘civilized,’ tend to be ‘moral sheep.’ We are disastrously prone to follow without question the moral lead provided by those around us. From Nazi Germany to Rwanda, you find people blindly going with the flow.”
That is a truthful, if slightly depressing, note to end on, but we are simply out of time. Indeed, you also write:
“An advantage of a little philosophical training is that it can provide the skills needed to think independently and question what others might take for granted. It can also help fortify your courage in making a moral stand.”
JM: Bravo, I say. I appreciate you spending some time with me here today, Stephen. In the spirit of enlightenment, peace and long life.
SL: Thank you very much.
I will now present a unique and thought-provoking assortment of quotations about liberalism:
“No loss by flood and lightning, no destruction of cities and temples by the hostile forces of nature has deprived man of so many noble lives and impulses as those which his intolerance has destroyed.” ~ Helen Keller
“A free market system must be set within a framework of political and legal institutions that adjust the long-run trend of economic forces so as to prevent excessive concentrations of property and wealth, especially those likely to lead to political domination. Society must establish equal opportunities of education regardless of family income.” ~ John Rawls
“Liberalism was never a straight line to progress. Yet, every step of the way it is liberalism that is open to human possibility, believing as it does in this invariable moral sense, turning the ‘ought to’ into the ‘is’ for all of humanity. Human freedom and dignity can be more than a dream for the few.” ~ Marcus G. Raskin
“What is needed to make democracy work as it is not now working – to bring into existence in reality a sound conception of democracy? The mass liberal education of the mass electorate. Not just schooling, but an education that involves moral training as well as training of the mind.” ~ Mortimer J. Adler
“We’ve forgotten many of the fundamentals: how to live within our means, the benefits of shared sacrifice, the responsibilities that go with citizenship, the importance of a well-rounded education, and tolerance. The first step, of course, is to recognize that we have a problem.” ~ Bob Herbert
“‘The brotherhood of man’ is an ideal based on learning to delight in our essential differences, as well as recognizing our similarities. Only then can we know the truth.” ~ Judith Barad
“Yes, I’m a liberal, and I’m proud of it. It’s a term we need to reclaim. Because I believe most Americans are liberals just like me. Most Americans believe in helping people. And most Americans believe that government has a role to play – to create opportunity, to protect our environment, to provide for the common good.” ~ Al Franken
“Frustration still seethes at liberals who try to impose their values on the heartland, and one consequence has been the rise of the religious Right.” ~ Nicholas D. Kristof
“I’m a proud Christian. I read the good book and do my best to live it. I have never read the verse where it says, ‘Gay people can’t marry.’ I have never read the verse where it says, ‘Thou shalt discriminate against those not like me.’ I have never read the verse where it says, ‘Let’s base our policy on hate and fear and discrimination.’ Christianity is to me love and hope and faith and forgiveness—not hate and discrimination.” ~ Senfronia Thompson
“Mark Zuckerberg was a classic liberal arts student who also happened to be passionately interested in computers. He studied ancient Greek intensively in high school and was a psychology major when he attended college. The crucial insights that made Facebook the giant it is today have as much to do with psychology as they do technology.” ~ Fareed Zakaria
“We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith.” ~ Paul Kurtz
“The burdens of generations of poverty and powerlessness lie heavy in the fields of America.” ~ Cesar Chavez
“The future must bring equal wages for equal work, regardless of sex or race.” ~ Henry A. Wallace
“We at the American Civil Liberties Union will not run from the ‘values debate.’ In fact, we welcome it, since it is clear that the ACLU has staked out a principled, nonpartisan defense for the rights of all persons. Our confidence is based on a moral understanding of the world around us, and the belief that everyone has certain rights that ought never to be sacrificed.” ~ Anthony D. Romero
“Liberals have fought to give liberty to the poor, the sick, the homeless, and minorities. I contend that it was liberal ideas that liberated many in our society.” ~ Alan Colmes
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.” ~ George Washington Carver
“I believe in a relatively equal society, supported by institutions that limit extremes of wealth and poverty. I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it.” ~ Paul Krugman
This is but one of twenty chapters in the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom. An e-book is a mere $2.99. If you enjoyed reading these quotes on liberalism, visit The Wisdom Archive, your source for quotations about values, ethics, and wisdom, right here on ValuesoftheWise.com!
Interesting story about the origins and history of liberalism.