Liberalism, state, and community

Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 8 (2):159-173 (1994)
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Abstract

Arguments for and against liberalism are vitiated by failing to distinguish between states (which have millions of citizens) and communities (which have only a few thousand citizens). The state should be liberal or minimal, but the community should not. The state is an alliance of communities for mutual defense and is concerned with matters of defense alone. Two reasons are given for this conclusion, one from Aristotle and one from Hobbes (though Hobbes's argument has to be corrected in two important respects). The community, by contrast, is a moral community and should not be liberal. Two arguments are also given for this conclusion, one from the naturalness of the family and one from the need for moral education. Once state and community have been thus distinguished and described, standard arguments both for and against the liberal state are seen to be correct but misdirected.

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Author's Profile

Peter Simpson
CUNY Graduate Center

Citations of this work

Libertarianism vs. community: Reply to Simpson.Ryszard Legutko - 1995 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 9 (3):421-425.
Community in a new libertarianism: Rejoinder to Legutko.Peter Simpson - 1995 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 9 (3):427-429.
Economic consequentialism and beyond.Jeffrey Friedman - 1994 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 8 (4):493-502.
The politics of communitarianism.Jeffrey Friedman - 1994 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 8 (2):297-340.

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References found in this work

Society as a department store.Ryszard Legutko - 1990 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 4 (3):327-343.
Postmodernism vs. Postlibertarianism.Jeffrey Friedman - 1991 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 5 (2):145-158.
The free market in a republic.Ryszard Legutko - 1991 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 5 (1):37-52.

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