Sabl responds: Andrew sent the following message today. In it, he answers various criticisms of his article on Cohen's critique of Rawls, a summary of which is posted below. Here's Andrew's message:

First, I would like to thank Micah for hosting this comment. I'm not a blogger myself, and rely on his generous donations of space.
As someone unused to the blogosphere, I'm afraid that my comments here will be taken as more definitive than they are. Once again, I stand by the print version of my article (Society March/April 2002, 78-85) and am happy to send (a few!) copies out to those who can't easily get it.
Jacob Levy's superb post on the difference between political theory and political philosophy helps illuminate some of the clashes between my post and the responses to it. But I also have some more specific responses Tom Runnacles' and Chris Bertram's excellent and provocative comments.
Both Runnacles and Bertram rightly focus on my horror of indoctrination, and both ask rhetorically whether it's wrong for a society to teach children not to steal. No, that's not wrong. But we shouldn't draw the general lesson that every time we think something required by justice we should recommend adopting it as a social norm at the cost of indoctrination. For one thing, stealing is an easy case because even if everyone disagrees on the legitimacy of where the property came from, almost any predictable system of property beats universal theft as a social rule.
But this isn't the proper analogy anyway. Cohen, remember, wants people not just to obey social rules—egalitarian ones—but to internalize them as guides to private conduct and even private motivations, and internalize them because they have accepted the requirement to attune their private motivations and beliefs to a certain set of public arguments that have come up with reasons why they are morally required. If we taught in schools, and tried to make a postulate of public debate, a given doctrine of property—Locke's, say, or even Hume's—and anyone who didn't believe it in his or her heart of hearts were attacked as antisocial, this way of making sure people got the message "don't steal" would be deeply illiberal.
Runnacles is right to say that Stockholm, London and Los Angeles differ in their level of egalitarianism without any being conformist in the ways I fear a society based on a Cohen-style ethos would be. (Or maybe. The link between Scandinavian social democracy and an assumption of cultural uniformity may be no accident.) But he's wrong to say that these cities "differ very considerably with respect to the extent to which the ethos Cohen favours obtains." It actually obtains at a level of zero everywhere. Nobody anywhere thinks that the only life he or she can morally live is the kind that could be justified in a society- (world?-) wide moral argument about which economic motivations he or she gets to have. People in Sweden and Britain are allowed to have different, or idiosyncratic, reasons for being egalitarians. They’re even allowed to be Thatcherites, or Swedes who vote for the bourgeois parties—remember them?—without being treated as thieves or murderers. People in these places avoid conformism because they don't live by Cohen's demands that one’s private motivations and psychic states be justified to others.
Even so, they can tend to become conformist: I hear, from a recent article by Martha Nussbaum in Ethics, that Norway once seriously considered outlawing private schools as dangers to a common social-democratic ethos. Echoes of Pierce v. Society of Sisters here!
Runnacles questions whether fraternity is in conflict with individuality:
Pursuing different ends, exhibiting contrasting personal styles, such individuals [with fraternal feelings that limit their willingness to insist on the marginal product their labor could command] may regard their solidaristic practices precisely as providing assistance by virtue of which their less-favoured compatriots are able to pursue their own distinctive paths through life by their own lights.
To this I would say, yes, they may. But they also may not. And they should not be expected to—especially if they have other reasons for being egalitarians, say noblesse oblige or bohemian disregard of both wealth and normal people, that would offend a doctrinaire proponent of fraternity but would leave their actions looking exactly the same.
So I stand by my statement that individuality is compatible with egalitarianism but not with fraternity. I oppose only the latter.
Both Runnacles and Bertram wonder if my quarrel isn't with Rawls rather than Cohen. If Cohen is right that being a Rawlsian entails "more radical views about what a just society would look like than is generally supposed" (writes Runnacles), then I'm merely rejecting both Rawls and Cohen. Well, sort of. As the full article version makes much clearer than my post, I think that late Rawls rightly jettisoned some dubious ideals that early Rawls endorsed: precisely the stuff about "fraternity" and "social unity" (and the difference principle as the embodiment of both) that Bertram cites as evidence that my argument implicates Rawls. All of those ideals are essentially incompatible with individualism. "Political" liberalism, which sees the rules of justice as expressing an overlapping consensus rather than a coherent and rationally required moral system, is not.
Runnacles claims, "A theory of justice which does not prescribe the inculcation of its own principles is in very strange shape indeed." Why so? One can believe X to be true and still think it would be a terrible thing if everyone were required to believe X under pain of social ostracism. This distinction is, of course, one way of explaining the essence of toleration. Possible reasons for making it include not only (1) my own determined individualism—which I'll admit is always and everywhere a minority taste and not a durable basis for any society—but also (2) an old-fashioned mild skepticism, or (3) what late-Rawls calls an acknowledgment of the "burdens of judgment" (which looks to me, despite his protests, like another kind of mild skepticism—but never mind).
In any case, the distinction is what late Rawls, with his stress on reasonable pluralism, admitted—and many fans of early Rawls, who see him (perhaps rightly, back then) as an advocate of a single society-wide egalitarian ethos, cannot accept. To the extent that Cohen radicalizes early Rawls and ignores late Rawls, he follows a hoary Marxian tradition of regarding as an enemy the plurality of moral systems that liberal toleration both learns from and promotes.

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