Open University

Obviously Insane


By Linda Hirshman

Maybe I'm too old to be exchanging ideas in the blogosphere, but where I come from, "obviously insane" would not count much as an argument whether for or against the real political effect of a metaphysically thin foundation for liberal political philosophy. Or any other argument including whether chocolate is better than vanilla.

When Matthew Yglesias--or any of the people who cite to Matt--comes up with a substantive argument against my thesis, I will be available to answer it. Meanwhile, I would note that if you read Bill Galston's paper (which I did not cite; I referred to his book for my argument about the differences between him and Rawls) as Matt recommends, you may find as I did that Matt's characterization of it was substantially misplaced, if not, as he would say "obviously insane."

I am making an argument for a different philosophical orientation than the one which has dominated liberal intellectual discourse for the last thirty-six years, which is why I cited Galston's philosophical book rather than his political memo. It is almost twenty years later, and my competing moral foundations are substantially different from Galston's, but even in the very different context of a strategic memo, one of Galston's three major points is--as I am also saying--that the Democrats have lost the battle of moral language to the conservatives.

Oh and it's probably not obviously insane, but there is no C in Hirshman.

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