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O sempre controverso John Gray, conclui brilhantemente uma pequena obra de introdução ao liberalismo, publicada já há alguns anos, intitulada simplesmente Liberalism - a conclusão é a que o autor incluiu na edição de 1994:

 

 

 

"The world-historical transformations of the past decade afford no support for the Whiggish philosophy of history that the liberal variant of the Enlightenment project incorporates and depends upon. The Soviet collapse and the Chinese project of market reform do not, as contemporary classical liberal thinkers and I myself once supposed, augur the global spread of Western-style civil societies: the exemplify the global reach of market institutions - a very different matter. It may be that market institutions are functionally indispensable in any well-functioning market economy; there is nothing to show that the institutions of a liberal civil society are similarly indispensable. The rebirth, in the Eighties, of a species of classical or fundamentalist liberalism, has proved to be transitory, an epiphenomenom of political victories that were themselves ephemeral. Far from being a precursor of the universal triumph of Western liberal ideas and institutions, the events unfolding from the Soviet collapse are likely to appear, in a somewhat longer historical perspective than that adopted by Francis Fukuyama, to be the prelude to an epoch of Western decline. The ruin of Soviet Marxism was, after all, the failure of a universalist Western ideology, of a a species of the Enlightenment project; it was not the end, but the resumption of history, in forms as little likely to be liberal as they are to be ever again Marxist. I see no reason t alter the statement I made in October 1989: "If it comes to pass, the fall o Soviet totalitarianism is most likely to occur as an incident in the decline of the Occidental cultures that gave it birth, as they are shaken the Malthusian, ethnic and fundamentalist conflicts which - far more than any European ideology - seem set to dominate the coming century.


In this new historical context of early postmodernity, in which the Soviet collapse is only the most dramatic and incontrovertible evidence of the foundering of the Enlightenment project throughout the world, the liberal problematic recurs in a form that resembles in many ways that which it assumed in the early modern period in which Hobbes theorized. The task of postliberal political thought is to seek terms of peaceful coexistence among different cultural forms without the benefit - dubious as it proved to be - of the universalist perspective and the conception of rational choice that Hobbes was able to deploy as an early Enlightenment thinker. In the postmodern age, liberal cultures and liberal states must renounce any claim to universal authority, and learn to live in harmony with other, non-liberal cultures and polities. Finding institutions which can harbour cultural diversity in peace, both in the relations between states and within states, is the pluralist challenge to postliberal thought. It is in th development of a postliberal political theory that addresses this challenge that the best hope lies for salvaging and renewing what remains of value in liberal thought and practice."

publicado às 21:59






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