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The Liberal Utopia

No people are born free
Above all, it is we who do not blame liberalism for everything that is wrong here in the world, which should dwell on this book. 

This does not happen very often, but in recent times a book achieves status as a turning point in the public debate. In the fall of 2017 this happened to the anthology No people are born free, with reception along predictable tracks. The class struggle's review was largely positive, while Minerva's reviewer stated that the articles are "to yawn for us who do not all share the author's eccentric view of reality".

Now, it is often the case that we humans like to be confirmed what we have thought, and most easily accept criticism of what we dislike. But shouldn't it be the opposite? Aren't readers like me who believe that the rise of right-wing populism means that we should stand up for our liberal social order, and who think it is just as well to blame liberalism for all that is wrong, that should dwell on this book?

I choose to answer yes to that question, and thus reject the claim that the anthology only makes sense for "red" readers. Well then, both the introduction and some of the texts become too polemical and "straight forward" in their argumentation. But still: It is difficult to deny that after the 1960s and 70s clashes between different schools of thought, liberalism has been allowed to dominate our collective thinking. . .

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Svein Hammer
Hammer is a dr.polit. in sociology and regular reviewer in Ny Tid.

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