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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Off to the roundtable

I'll be heading off a bit later to one of those National Human Rights Consultation Community Roundtables. I'll report my impressions later on, when I get back.

I don't have very high hopes for this exercise, at least from a selfish viewpoint, mainly because I expect it to be a cast of thousands, with little opportunity for individuals to have substantial input. This is a big city, and I'm sure that a huge number of people will want to go along. That's all good for democracy, but it may entail that written submissions are really the only way to have any impact as an individual (and even then, you'll need to do something to make your submission stand out from the ten thousand plus that have been received).

That's not to deny that the process will be useful to the committee members - at the least, it must be giving them an impression of what is on the minds of real people in the community. It's a good idea for them to conduct these sessions all over Australia, and I commend them for it.

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