Supremacy, Liberty and the Right

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The US right often appeals to liberty – freedom from the state –  as a justification for its policies. But it also seems to oppose liberty in many key political issues, particularly when it comes to the private domain of sexual relations. This seeming contradiction flummoxes liberals – how can the right both defend and attack individual liberty? But there is no contradiction. The right simply has a different conception of liberty, one that, contrary to that of liberals, isn’t universal but applies only to a select few, the “real citizens”, argues Toby Buckle.  Liberals imagine that the US far-right is incoherent on the question of freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth; it has at its heart a vision of freedom that is ancient, coherent, and compelling.From the perspective of mainstream American liberalism, conservative invocations of freedom seem caught in a mad confusion between its libertarian and authoritarian impulses: The right identifies itself with individual freedom, p…

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