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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 93 of the late Gertrude Himmelfarb’s 1992 paper “Liberty: ‘One Very Simple Principle’?” as this paper appears in the 1994 collection – On Looking Into the Abyss – of some of Himmelfarb’s writings:

One of the paradoxes of contemporary liberalism is that it has become increasingly libertarian in moral affairs and at the same time increasingly dirigiste in economic affairs. In the moral realm, the individual is as close to being “sovereign” – or, we would now say, “autonomous” – as [John Stuart] Mill could have desired. In the economic realm, however, the state exercises a degree of control at least the equal of the “social tyranny” that he so feared.

DBx: There is still much truth and relevance in this observation from 30 years ago. And it’s certain that modern “liberalism” (so falsely labeled) is today even more hostile to economic freedom than it was in 1992.

But even as regards some of what Himmelfarb calls our ‘moral affairs,’ modern “liberalism” is less liberal – more dirigiste – than it was three decades ago. This faux liberalism has for years been sinking into deeper and deeper hostility to free speech – a sinking only accelerated by covid hysteria. And covid hysteria itself has revealed that the alleged attachment of many faux liberals to personal liberties (other than to the liberty to have abortions and to the liberty to protest in ways applauded by the woke) is either weak or mythical.

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