Liberals, Revolutionaries, and Responsibility: Final Rejoinder [Excerpt]

Ethics and International Affairs, Volume 16.2 (Fall 2002)

November 25, 2002

Many liberals would agree with revolutionaries that the social and economic legacies of political oppression require rectification. Where liberals part company with revolutionaries is over the nature and means of political struggle. Whereas revolutionary warriors tend to dismiss their own responsibility for the tragic costs of their struggle, liberals acknowledge that the advancement of social justice and moral regeneration in the aftermath of violence and oppression must begin with institutions of moral accounting, such as trials and truth commissions, that, however imperfectly, revitalize notions of individual, social, and political responsibility.


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