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It Would Be Nice if Critics Stopped Straw-Manning Classical Liberalism

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23.09.2019

Yes, I know, the last thing you wanted to read today was another entry in the right’s liberalism wars. But I can’t help myself. Someone was wrong on the Internet, and I feel compelled to respond. Earlier today Sohrab Ahmari tweeted some thoughts that perfectly encapsulated my frustrations with at least some of the contemporary right-wing critiques of classical liberalism. Here’s Ahmari, writing about woke children and woke students:

There’s an asymmetry. It’s why, as much as I sympathize with efforts like Heterodox Academy, I suspect they won’t get us far. “Give us the good!” students say, and the identity left gives them a (twisted, awful) vision of the good. Meanwhile we proffer … viewpoint diversity.

— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) September 23, 2019

Let’s put aside for the moment whether anyone should be “terrified of the woke children” (there’s way too much fear on the right) and address the key substance of Ahmari’s critique. According to him, on the one side there exists a left-wing........

© National Review