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Additional info for Cultural Diversity, Liberal Pluralism and Schools: Isaiah Berlin and Education (Routledge International Studies in the Philosophy of Education (Numbered))
Equally universal values are required because of the cruelties that follow when standards for judging societies are relinquished. Joan Cocks (2002) notes how liberal nationalists claim Berlin as a key source but for her there is a tension between liberalism and nationalism and it is one that runs through Berlin’s writing on nationalism and collective rights. Like Honneth, Cocks identiﬁes a conﬂict between Berlin’s concern for collective identities and his regard for individual freedom. The same tension is evident in his advocacy of Jewish assimilation while recognizing that no Jews were better assimilated than those of Hitler’s Germany.
In situations of value conﬂict we are forced to choose and any choice will involve some loss as well as gain but these situations are rarely of the ‘all or nothing’ kind and the best outcomes usually involve compromise – so much equality, so much liberty. Multiculturalists, says Barry, have ceded too much to cultural groups thereby undermining both equality and individual liberty. The kind of diversity that Barry favours is that between individuals rather than between groups because groups often rely upon coercion to achieve internal homogeneity and strong group identity.
Multiculturalists, says Barry, have ceded too much to cultural groups thereby undermining both equality and individual liberty. The kind of diversity that Barry favours is that between individuals rather than between groups because groups often rely upon coercion to achieve internal homogeneity and strong group identity. Groups can interfere with the individual freedoms of their own members and they often do. Where groups rely on coercion to do this, they will have to change. Barry recalls that liberalism never accepted a public–private distinction that leaves parents free to deal in whatever way they choose with their children.