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Mark Reiff (University of California at Davis)

Quand :
28 mars 2018 @ 16:15 – 17:45
Où :
Salle 309
2910 Boulevard Edouard-Montpetit
Montréal, QC H3T 1J7

Le CRÉ reçoit Mark Reiff, qui nous offrira une présentation intitulée « The Unbearable Resilience of Illiberalism ».


The rise of Donald Trump and Trumpism, and the rise of illiberalism this entails, suggests that racism, sexism, xenophobia, religious hatred and paranoia, homophobia, tribalism, a rejection of the rule of law and reason, and an attraction to authoritarianism is endemic in the human psyche, and therefore in human culture.  Apparently, these illiberal attitudes can lie dormant for decades and perhaps even generations but still be activated at any time, spread through a community, and from one community to another.  The purpose of this essay is to explain how complacency and a misunderstanding of the precepts of liberalism has allowed its antithesis to raise once again.  I shall discuss how the battle between liberalism and illiberalism might be joined, and most importantly, what counts as an argument in this battle and what does not.  I shall point out the weaknesses in the appeal to reason, the argument from consequences, and the argument from coherence, and query whether there are indeed some fundamental values on which liberals and illiberals can still agree.  I shall then offer some suggestions about how liberals can more effectively respond to the rise of illiberalism in their own communities and others, and explain how they can better organize and prioritize their efforts to keep the endemic attraction of illiberalism at bay.