By Howard Friel
During the lens of a cautious review of the political beliefs of MIT’s Noam Chomsky and Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz—the protagonists of a Cambridge-based feud during the last 40 years—author Howard Friel chronicles an American highbrow historical past from the U.S. struggle in Vietnam within the Nineteen Sixties to the modern debate concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Major findings display the consistency of Chomsky’s principled aid of overseas legislation, human rights, and civil liberties, and a reversal by way of Dershowitz from help within the Nineteen Sixties to competition of these criminal criteria this present day. while Chomsky has adverse competitive warfare (including through the USA and Israel) all through his educational occupation, Dershowitz moved from opposing the struggle in Vietnam to assisting the U.S.-led struggle on terrorism, such as “preventive wars,” “preemptive attacks,” armed reprisals, and specific extrajudicial killings. even supposing Dershowitz as soon as adversarial the Nixon administration’s attack on civil liberties, he now writes favorably a few “jurisprudence of the preventive state” within the usa, which might most probably legalize “preventive surveillance,” “preventive interrogations,” and “preventive detentions.”
Friel’s quantity argues Chomskyan adherence by way of the U.S. to overseas legislations and human rights would cut back the specter of terrorism and shield civil liberties, that the Dershowitz-backed conflict on terrorism raises the specter of terrorism and undermines civil liberties, and that the incremental yet regular transition towards a preventive country threatens the everlasting suspension of civil liberties within the usa.
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If, however, I disagree with the wisdom of a given law but would agree that it is based upon arguments that I can recognize as valid, then a necessary condition for its legitimacy has been met. This point has been expressed well by Jeremy Waldron: ‗If there is some individual to whom a justification cannot be given, then so far as he is concerned the social order had better be replaced by other arrangements, for the status quo has made out no claim to his allegiance‘. 61 61 Waldron Liberal Rights at 44 (emphases in the original).
There is an important strand in liberal thinking that links legitimacy with the consent of the governed. Not the actual consent, of course, because such a requirement would undercut the whole search for the principles of political legitimacy; we would end up with the anarchistic idea that each individual is bound only by those laws to which he or she has agreed. com) © Copyright Oxford University Press, 2003-2010. All Rights Reserved all citizens. In a weak but plausible version, the liberal principle of legitimacy postulates that only laws that are based upon arguments and reasons to which no members of society have a rational reason to object can boast political legitimacy, and as such be applied coercively even to those who actually disagree with them.
The preceding parts of this chapter had as their aim to clear the conceptual field, by reflecting upon what is at stake in attributing (or refusing) the property of legitimacy to a given legal rule, legal system, or a state. My argument was that the very concept is ambiguous, and it is important to be clear whether we use legitimacy as akin to justification (from which a duty to obey does not necessarily derive) or in a stronger sense as necessarily grounding the duty to obey, in which case legitimacy must be based on some other foundations than merely those necessary to justify a given legal rule, legal system, or a given state.