“Liberal democracy’s dilemma is how to reconcile individual autonomy with group membership in a pluralistic society” (PLSC 420). For Michael Walzer the dilemma of liberal democracy is solved by tolerance. Walzer defines toleration as “…the peaceful coexistence of groups of people with different histories, cultures, and identities, which is what toleration makes possible” (Walzer, 2). In this paper I will use Walzer’s ideas on tolerance to address the issue of toleration in a liberal democracy. In addition I will discuss what I see as the challenges to tolerance in today’s society. Finally, I will suggest some solutions to the challenges facing tolerance.
However, before I began my discussion of Walzer I will point out some problem issues in his book. My issues with Walzer stem from how he uses certain terms when dealing with hot button issues. I have three problem points with Walzer’s book one, his historical shortsightedness, two the mislabeling of Afrocentric education, and three the misuse of the term reverse discrimination. These three points can cause the reader to misunderstand his intentions.
In my view, Walzer has written with degree of historical shortsightedness in his discussion models for governments. On page 15 of On Toleration Walzer writes “…settled imperial rule is often tolerant.” In this statement he makes light of the political repression, corruption and wars of conquest that led to the formation of the multinational empires.
At another point in the book Walzer calls an Afrocentric education, educational separation. (Walzer, 75) Using Molefi Asante’s definition of an Afrocentric education, I would like to clarify what is an Afrocentric education. “Afrocentricity is a frame of reference wherein phenomena are viewed from the perspective of the African person. The Afrocentric approach seeks in every situation the appropriate centrality of the... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2009, 12). Liberal Democracy’s Dilemma: Individualism, Pluralism, and Toleration. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2009, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Liberal-Democracy-s-Dilemma-Individualism-Pluralism-And-267533.html
"Liberal Democracy’s Dilemma: Individualism, Pluralism, and Toleration" StudyMode.com. 12 2009. 12 2009 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Liberal-Democracy-s-Dilemma-Individualism-Pluralism-And-267533.html>.
"Liberal Democracy’s Dilemma: Individualism, Pluralism, and Toleration." StudyMode.com. 12, 2009. Accessed 12, 2009. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Liberal-Democracy-s-Dilemma-Individualism-Pluralism-And-267533.html.