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Philosophical critiques of liberalism

Criticsms of liberalism are almost as old as liberalism itself. Hegel’s critique of Kant was one of the founding documents revived in recent decades by Charles Taylor and the communitarians. 

(Communitarian philosophy is based upon the belief that a person's social identity and personality are largely molded by community relationships, with a smaller degree of development being placed on individualism.)

Other modern critics of liberalism, such as Alasdair Macintyre and Michael Sandel, have stressed how liberals like John Rawls downplay relationships and loyalties

John Rawls’s individualistic egalitarian liberalism starts from the assumption that you must eliminate existing attachments:
Hobbes assumes you have none:
 Montesquieu believes them to be immoral: ‘A truly virtuous man would come to the aid of the most distant stranger as quickly as to his own friend… if men were perfectly virtuous, they wouldn’t have friends.’ 
Does this mean if you were truly virtuous you would have no 
'special' affection for anybody (does that mean your children?)
as Jesus like you would love everybody the same.

while the romantic liberalism of Rousseau takes the opposite view, seeing people as free and innocent but society as corrupting. British (and American) liberalism premised on Lockean pessimism is concerned with the balancing and checking of power, the Rousseau-an approach abolishes the problem of power by assuming, in the general will, that everyone has the same interests.

John Stuart Mill’s libertarian ‘harm’ principle, in which people can do what they like so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else, was an understandable reaction against the Victorian era’s crushing moralism, but it has diminished relevance today given the level of mutual entanglement in the great conurbations where most of us live. 

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