Making for an enjoyable New Year’s Eve read, I went through what was a long article critical of Rawlsian Liberalism as one that is premised on certain moral values that seeks to force and enforce those values. This makes Rawlsianism, essentially, just like religion, say Islamism. Hence, both are essentially non-liberal. That I agree on. I am not a Rawlsian Liberal, as I will clarify in the sequel. However, I fault both Lenn Goodman as well as Shadi Hamid for making Ralwsianism as the only form of liberalism (as, also, I will clarify below). Rawls is not liberalism, just as much as Islamism is not Islam.
One of the biggest problems plaguing liberalism is that the American progressive version of liberalism has become the popular (and populist) interpretation of the term. When I say I am a “liberal”, I mean it in the European (and Egyptian) sense of that word. It is unfortunate that the Egyptian usage of the word is now heavily corrupted by the American definition (due to, in my opinion, the dominance of American education and culture over younger generation Egyptians). But there is still some significant retention among Egyptians of the broader definition of liberalism: free-markets, freedom of thought and belief, freedom of association, small government, free trade, respect for private property, right to selfdefense, freedom of choice, and an aversion to using the state to enforce “social justice” (not because liberalism is anti-justice, it is because it is not clear what “social justice” is and due to (classical) liberalism’s distrust of politicians taking over social programs) etc. Anyhow, here are my last tweets to Shadi on the subject: