Freedom as highest good.

Liberalism takes as the highest good of the regime the maximization of autonomy and the removal of extrinsic restraints on freedom. The first way this manifests itself is in a policy of minimal governance, free thought and speech, and laissez faire markets. It’s just as reasonable, however, to take the maximization of autonomy as the highest good of the regime, and so taken one places no limits on his efforts to bring that good about. Just as a doctor qua doctor believes that anything goes so far as it brings about health, so too the liberal as liberal believes that anything goes so far as it removes extrinsic restraints on freedom. While the doctor, however, recognizes some limits on what he might do as man or citizen, liberalism just is a theory of man’s highest common good, and so absolutely anything¬†that removes restraints on freedom or the self-determination of persons is not just permissible but morally obligatory. As soon as we identify some group that is imposes restraints on freedom we are morally obliged to do whatever it takes to eliminate them.

So one and the same liberalism has what we now call a conservative and liberal manifestation, with the conservative one seeking minimal governance and oversight and the liberal one feeling justified in doing absolutely anything to remove groups that resist the revolution.

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