A while back here on the James Lindsay OnlySubs podcast, I did an episode talking about liberalism as an “unstable equilibrium” a broad sociopolitical philosophy. In it, I gave this slightly awkward metaphor about society being like a baseball bat, and liberalism being like balancing the bat upright on the palm of your hand. My point was that you have to move your hand around constantly to keep the bat upright. It’s only a republic if you can keep it, in other words. It suddenly occurred to me that this metaphor was better than I thought in the first place, so I’ve come back to it to develop it further (even more on this coming soon too!). What I realized is that by keeping your hand under the bat and balancing it, the bat stays upright while nobody is grabbing the bat. In this episode of my exciting subscribers-only podcast, I elaborate on the relevance of this metaphor by indicating that the reactionary response is grabbing the bat to whack one’s political enemies. Liberalism therefore offers the key advantage that we don’t have to worry about anyone hitting anyone else with the bat, in the terms of the metaphor, and neither do we have to figure out who has the right to grab and potentially wield the bat. Join me in this episode for this curious exploration!
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