It is often admitted that the different conceptions of liberalism are distributed along an arch at whose opposite ends stand tolerance and autonomy. In this work, we shall examine two theories which encapsulate these two polar opposites, put forth by Kukathas and Kymlicka, in order to delve into their respective Utopias. We shall sustain that, with the former (the “liberal theory of tolerance”), what is pursued is not, in fact, a Utopia but rather a libertarian dystopia. We shall also sustain that, with the latter (the “liberal theory of multiculturalism”), it can be taken to mean a Utopia in the conventional sense of the word, i.e. a political project that is impossible to put into practice. Based on our analysis and comparison of these two Utopias, we conclude that the different versions of liberalism can be interpreted as a one-of-a-kind Utopia in that it aspires to embrace communities which are actually incompatible among themselves or incompatible with the general framework of liberalism, and act as arbitrator between them. For this very reason, we shall go one step further and sustain that liberalism is, in fact, a Utopia in the sense that it seeks the impossible: that all communities give up their goal to model the State and the whole of society according to their own conception of what is good.
|Translated title of the contribution||Tolerance or autonomy? Two liberal utopias of society: Kukathas and kymlicka.|
|Number of pages||32|
|State||Published - 1 Apr 2021|