Saturday, April 13, 2019


I Smell False Latine

Megan McArdle, "Irish cultural pride gives this cosmopolitan second thoughts," Washington Post (April 12, 2019):
For one thing, if we want to keep more than colorful costumes and a few place-names, the affirmative kind of groupishness will be doing the main work of preserving the cultural and linguistic diversity we're all supposedly celebrating. And for another, that sort of groupishness is much more common than homo liberalus, that rootless cultural and intellectual polyamorist whom political scientist Patrick Deneen has dubbed the "self-made and self-making."

Indeed, I question whether homo liberalus exists at all, or can, this self-creating self-sprung full-blown from the head of John Stuart Mill on the day before yesterday. True self-authorship seems no more possible than the perpetual motion machine; the greatest engine in the world still draws its motive power from outside.
I, too, "question whether homo liberalus exists at all," because there is no such Latin word as liberalus. It should be liberalis.


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