The Liberal Objection
From: Languages of the Unheard
Not everyone admires confrontational protesters. Some people specifically dispute the claim that militancy is good for democracy. They believe, on the contrary, that militancy is a failing, either because it undermines fragile democratic institutions by eroding respect for law and order, or because it resorts to forceful pressure when reason-guided, good-faith dialogue is called for. This chapter explores these concerns, focusing especially on the latter, which it calls the liberal objection to militancy.
Stephen D’Arcy is an associate professor of philosophy at Huron University College, Western University. A long-time social activist and protest organizer, he teaches and writes about democratic theory and practical ethics.