Monday, October 03, 2011

Half truth, at best

Both George W Bush and Michael Novak share a common mistake. They believe in, to quote Novak's book title, "the universal hunger for liberty." And imagine that it is something like Western or American liberty.

It is not.

People want their own liberty, the kind of freedom that lets them live as they wish and it does not extend to people and behaviors that they dislike. The kind of freedom that the West has sort-of aspired to has included the freedom of others, required the toleration* of people and of behavior and values that are not congenial.

This is hard work. And not at all universally desired.

*Toleration means "to put up with", not "to embrace."

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