Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Liberties and Enlightenment Values

Overview

"The means of defence against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." James Madison

Our societies, says Anthony Grayling, are under attack not only from the threat of terrorism, but also from our governments' attempts to fight that threat by reducing freedom in our own societies - think the 42-day detention controversy, CCTV surveillance, increasing invasion of privacy, ID Cards, not to mention Abu Ghraib, ...

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Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Liberties and Enlightenment Values

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Overview

"The means of defence against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." James Madison

Our societies, says Anthony Grayling, are under attack not only from the threat of terrorism, but also from our governments' attempts to fight that threat by reducing freedom in our own societies - think the 42-day detention controversy, CCTV surveillance, increasing invasion of privacy, ID Cards, not to mention Abu Ghraib, rendition, Guantanamo…

As Grayling says: 'There should be a special place for political irony in the catalogues of human folly. Starting a war 'to promote freedom and democracy' could in certain though rare circumstances be a justified act; but in the case of the Second Gulf War that began in 2003, which involved reacting to criminals hiding in one country (Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or Pakistan) by invading another country (Iraq), one of the main fronts has, dismayingly, been the home front, where the War on Terror takes the form of a War on Civil Liberties in the spurious name of security. To defend 'freedom and democracy', Western governments attack and diminish freedom and democracy in their own country. By this logic, someone will eventually have to invade the US and UK to restore freedom and democracy to them.'

In this lucid and timely book, Grayling sets out what's at risk, engages with the arguments for and against examining the cases made by Isaiah Berlin and Ronald Dworkin on the one hand, and Roger Scruton and John Gray on the other, and finally proposes a different way to respond that makes defending the civil liberties on which western society is founded the cornerstone for defeating terrorism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781408803073
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

A.C. Grayling is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a multi-talented author. He believes that philosophy should take an active, useful role in society. He has been a regular contributor to The Times, Financial Times, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Economist, Literary Review, New Statesman and Prospect, and is a frequent and popular contributor to radio and television programs, including Newsnight, Today, In Our Time, Start the Week and CNN news. He is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum at Davos, and advises on many committees ranging from Drug Testing at Work to human rights groups.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Foreword 1

Part I Defending Liberties

Introduction to Part I 9

1 Liberty and Terrorism 17

2 Compromising Liberty 26

3 Why Liberty Matters 30

4 Identity and Identities 37

5 Equality and Justice 47

6 Civil Liberties in the West 56

7 Free Speech and Censorship 63

8 Free Speech and Civil Liberties 69

9 Tolerance 76

10 The 'War on Terror' 85

11 Combating Terrorism 90

12 Surveillance and Identity 98

13 Identity for Sale 105

14 Privacy 110

15 Democracy 116

16 We the People 125

17 Civil Liberties and Human Rights 131

Part II Debates

Introduction to Part II 155

18 Liberty and Enlightenment Values 157

19 Isaiah Berlin and Liberty 161

20 Ronald Dworkin and Liberty 168

21 Roger Scruton and Sentimental Reaction 172

22 John Gray and the Pose of Pessimism 179

23 Slavoj Zizek and the Inversion of Values 190

24 John Ralston Saul and Voltaire's Bastards 197

25 Tzvetan Todorov: Hope and the Good 203

26 History and Progress in the Twentieth Century 211

27 Justice at Last? 216

Appendix 1 Laws and measures that have reduced civil liberties in the United Kingdom and the United States in recent years 227

Appendix 2:

a The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 245

b The European Convention on Human Rights 253

c The Human Rights Act 260

Index 273

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