By Uday Singh Mehta
We take liberalism to be a suite of rules dedicated to political rights and self-determination, but it additionally served to justify an empire outfitted on political domination. Uday Mehta argues that imperialism, faraway from contradicting liberal tenets, in truth stemmed from liberal assumptions approximately cause and old development. faced with surprising cultures resembling India, British liberals might in basic terms see them as backward or childish. during this, liberals manifested a slim belief of human event and methods of being within the world.Ironically, it's within the conservative Edmund Burke—a critical critic of Britain's conceited, paternalistic colonial expansion—that Mehta reveals an alternate and extra capacious liberal imaginative and prescient. laying off gentle on a primary stress in liberal thought, Liberalism and Empire reaches past post-colonial reviews to revise our perception of the grand liberal culture and the belief of expertise with which it truly is linked.
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Additional resources for Liberalism and Empire: A Study in Nineteenth-Century British Liberal Thought
Richard Ashcraft, "Locke's State of Nature: Historical Fact or Moral Fiction," American Political Science Review 68, no. 3 (1968): 898-914. INTRODUCTION 37 generals, and even occasionally the professed liberal theorist himselfsucceeded in marking more and more of the globe in the color associated with the Union Jack. In the empire, one might say, liberalism had found the concrete place of its dreams. When Locke, in language that resonated with the Bible and was no doubt intended to carry sorne of its fervor, announced "in the beginning all the 'World was America"72 we take him to have meant this as an injunction to make the world a more useful, free, and productive placepresumably both safe for liberalism and saved by it.
Chap. 89-115. Here, though more obviously in much of what follows, my views are plainly influenced by IVlichael Oakeshott's understanding of experience and the claim that it is always "arrested" thinking that gives experience its meaning and coherence. See Michael Oakeshott, Experience am! Its Modes (London: Cambridge Unìversity Press, 1933) and Rationalism irnd Politics (London: Methuen, 1962). See also the extremely insìghtful elaboration of Oakeshott's and others' thinking by Richard Flathman.
But these universal and cosmopolitan dreams themselves drew, especially in the late eighteenth century, on the experience of a waking reality that had been parochial and, for the men of letters and ideas, secure in a broad conformity to accepted and familiar social standards. In the political realm this meant that, following the union with Scotland in 1707, issues of boundaries and membership were substantially settled. Notwithstanding the vulnerabilities and exclusion of Jews and Catholics, even the problem of Dissenters could be addressed by the manipulation of familiar categories.