The Corner

Culture

Re: Liberty as a Means

In response to C. C. Pecknold Miscasts Kevin Williamson’s Argument

Thanks, Charles. I wasn’t sure that was even worth responding to, since the author pretty clearly hasn’t read the pieces in question, or can’t really read them. The proposition that liberty is a means rather than an end is not implied, but made explicit. If I may quote myself:

There is much more to the good life than politics, and liberty, properly understood, is only a means, not an end. The question of what we are to do with that liberty might be answered in any number of ways consulting many different sources of wisdom. But it is far too important to be left to the people who cannot even quite make the trains run on time. A government that is soon likely to be presided over either by Donald Trump or Elizabeth Warren is not a fitting instrument of moral instruction, and the people — We, the People — who bear the blame for having made it what it is ought to be modest in our expectations about what we might make of it in the future.

I don’t really see how this could be any more explicit. But there is no sense trying to write for people who are determined to misread you.

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