Post-liberal clarifications

[A] fusionist conservative and a Thomist might agree that it is a bad idea to make adultery a criminal offense. But for the fusionist, who accepts the fundamental liberal assumptions about the purposes of government, that is because such a policy would be an unjust violation of the individual right to personal liberty, which for the liberal includes even the liberty to make grave moral mistakes. By contrast, a Thomist would argue instead that while it would not be per se unjust to make adultery illegal, such a policy is very unlikely to do much good in practice and is likely to produce unintended evils as a side effect.

The point for the moment, though, is just to emphasize that it is a false choice to suppose that one must either follow the fusionist in endorsing some brand of liberalism, or go in for some kind of authoritarianism …

… The reason I favor a variation on what Continetti calls post-liberal conservatism” is because I think it is true, not because I think it promises a winning party platform.

Edward Feser

I found this very helpful in clarifying some recent intra-conservative discussions I’ll not name yet again.

June 3, 2019


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