Tag: Rawls

Harvard, In Theory and Practice

Harvard in Theory: “Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are…to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged….an excessive rate of saving must on balance mitigate the burden of those bearing this hardship.” (John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, § 46) Harvard in Practice: When dining hall workers ask a university with a $36 billion endowment to pay them $35,000 a year plus health benefits, they’re forced out on strike.

A Very Brief Intellectual Autobiography

Reading Samuel Freeman’s review of Roger Scruton in the latest NYRB, I had a mini-realization about my own work on conservatism, which features Scruton quite a bit. In the mid-1970s, conservatism, which had previously been declared dead as an intellectual and political force, began to have a major impact on liberalism. Politically, you could see that influence in the slow, then sudden, retreat from traditional New Deal objectives, culminating in the election of Bill Clinton. What that meant was a massive turnaround on economic issues (deregulation, indifference to unions, galloping inequality) and a softer turnaround on social issues. While mainstream Democrats today are identified as staunch liberals on so-called social or moral issues like abortion and gay rights, the truth of the […]