The End of History Liberalism??

My work for the last 20 years or more has generally had a connection to concerns related to sustainability (better, unsustainability). I am finding my basic ideas have relevance far beyond this topic. The central critique of modernity, fueling my work, arose out of looking for a way to explain both the existence and persistence of growing departures from the vision behind all modern cultures: progress and the perfection of the human being. It all comes down to two related ontological beliefs that are no longer driving the modern engine in the right direction. I hesitate to label these beliefs as flawed because they have produced such wonders for centuries,… Read More

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Thoughtful Review of Flourishing

I had posted this on my Facebook page, but discovered the link went to the Journal with limited access, not to the article itself. The review was done by a colleague and friend, Nigel Roome, who recently passed away, much too soon. Here it is. REVIEW_Journal_of_Industrial_Ecology.pdf

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Is Freedom the Right Thing to Strive For?

> “You are ready to aid in the shaping and application of those wise restraints that make men free.” John MacArthur Maguire (Harvard Law School Professor) The assignment for next week in my class on the “Essence of Liberalism” at HILR is Isaiah Berlin’s quite famous two liberties lecture. Berlin compares and contrasts two opposing types of liberty: positive and negative. The latter has roots that go back to the classic liberals of the 18th Century who, in one form or another, were concerned with the power of the establishment to suppress an individual’s right or ability of free expression and action. Depending on the particular time and thinker, the… Read More

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All It Takes Is Love (Not Covenants)

I’m back to responding to one of my favorite targets, David Brooks. Brooks, in his NYTimes [column](http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/opinion/how-covenants-make-us.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0) of April 5th, 2016, was expounding a theory to make the hyper-individualistic culture of the present more cohesive and socially binding, as a way to better anchor one’s sense of self. I find his argument completely unconvincing. It starts with his criticism of the present cultural situation. > When you think about it, there are four big forces coursing through modern societies. Global migration is leading to demographic diversity. Economic globalization is creating wider opportunity but also inequality. The Internet is giving people more choices over what to buy and pay attention to.… Read More

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