17 Feb 2008

Defining EL

A traditionalist/modernist debate

Empathic Libertarianism(EL) is a philosophy of mutual respect for the perspectives of our fellow beings and upholding(and executing) our own perspectives only till the extent that they do not tend to hurt others. If consciously or unconsciously we trespass, we should not complain about the retaliation. However, this retaliation by the person whose perspectives have been challenged should be lawful in a given unprejudiced political setting.
EL is a very general philosophy applicable to all socio-political and economic disputations. However, as said it is applicable in an unprejudiced political setting which according to me is the one upholding basic democratic principles.
I see an Empathic Libertarian(ELian) as the one who is a modernist and objective in his/her approach but at the same time compassionate enough to accommodate the traditionalists and their subjectivity. Hence an ELian is very close to the modernists(or liberals or objective-thinkers) but intentionally lags behind them to allow the traditionalists(or conservatives or subjective-thinkers) to catch up. An ELian is forward looking who wants to take everyone along. A traditionalist who accommodates the modernists cannot be an ELian because he/she shall pull the momentum backwards rather than forward.
Some may feel that 'accommodating everyone' and 'taking them all along' is more of a tactfulness, i.e., diplomacy of some kind. I'll like to make things more clear for them. Most of the times engaged in disputations over trivial issues are the so called liberals and conservatives. Liberals consider themselves to be 'open minded' and their adversaries as 'closed'. On the other hand, the conservatives see themselves as the ones holding together the threads of the past and the present to give a value-rich future. For them, their adversaries and their ideologies are just aberrations which must be removed for the common good. The fact is that both of them, 'closed' in their self-created confinements, are unable to see the perspectives of the other. Here comes the importance of an ELian who refuses to get incarcerated in these biased perceptions and try to make the best out of the two worlds.
Here I'll question the so-called 'open-minded' liberals that how can they think they are 'open'? By closing your ears, eyes and the mind to the polemics of the conservatives, aren't you showing the same stubbornness what you excuse them to exhibit so often.
Again talking of 'taking everyone along' does not imply that an ELian should conciliate and accommodate every perception and prejudice of the liberals and the conservatives. Liberals(or modernists) need to be criticized when they keep on moving forward, not allowing the conservatives(or traditionalists) to catch up. Similarly the conservatives(or traditionalists) need to be criticized when they tend to move backwards towards 'barbarism'.
Now coming onto objectivity, lets see its importance and the extent to which it should be applied.
Objectivity is a prerequisite for an empirical value-free judgment of any given situation. However, being objective is our 'subjective' choice. Similarly, clinging to one's values and seeing things through this subjective mesh is the choice of others. We all use our education and the values it imbibes into us to shape our perceptions. While someone gets an objective outlook towards the life, others remain subjective. Wisdom cannot be imparted through education. There are many who depend on traditional wisdom and hence tend to be subjective. As ELian one should try to impart in them, the modern value systems in order to help them keep up with the pace at which the world is moving. However, in doing so we must not look at their wisdom as something obsolete and hence something to be abhorred. It means a lot to them and we should be accommodating enough to allow for their subjectivity and restrain from hurting them. This world is large enough to accommodate people of all colors, races and creeds. Similarly our 'combined intellect' is large enough to accommodate all kinds of perceptions.
Mahatma Gandhi has said, "Before we dare think of freedom we must be brave enough to love one another, to tolerate one another's religion, even prejudices and superstitions."
Talking of Gandhiji, I am reminded to mention the kind of retaliation an ELian expects by the person whose perspectives have been challenged. As said, it should be lawful. Nothing better than the 'satyagrah' gifted by the Father of our Nation. One should find peaceful means to vent the anger against the injustice. But again as ELian, I wont subscribe to any kind of 'extreme' Gandhian satyagrah. However, without any second thought, I completely denounce the use of unwanted violence.
So Live and Let Live!!!

Image Courtesy
http://www.piedmontchurch.org (original)


rahul said...

i am agree with both the point traditionalist/modernist

Vipul Grover said...

Hey rahul thnx 4 dropping by.. its best 2 agree with both d points 2 strt off nd thn dcide where v stnd by critically xamining our agrements:)

Aditi said...

Very interesting...True that liberals need to keep moving forward but not leave behind the so called conservatives...Agreed that one has to make best of the two worlds...Very well put!!