The Philosopher & The News

Toby Buckle & Freedom According to the Right

July 19, 2022 Alexis Papazoglou Episode 35
The Philosopher & The News
Toby Buckle & Freedom According to the Right
Show Notes

On June 24, the US Supreme court overruled a landmark decision: Roe v Wade. For nearly 50 years, abortion was a constitutional right in the Unites States. No more. “The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” Read the decision. 

But quite apart from the legal argument, everyone knew this was at heart deeply political decision. Three of the judges in the majority opinion were appointed by the previous president, Donald Trump, who had explicitly promised his voters he would appoint pro-life judges when given the chance. 

So how should we understand this political decision? Why is the right, always brandishing liberty as its central value, so happy to restrict the freedoms of millions of women? Why does the party who wants a small state, and is averse to government regulation, so happy for the state to intervene in the private lives of citizens, and regulate one of the most personal choices one can make: whether to have a child or not? Is the Republican party simply riddled with internal contradictions when it comes to freedom? Or do they simply understand freedom in an altogether different way?

Toby Buckle is the producer and host of The Political Philosophy Podcast, and the editor of a new collection of essays entitled What is Freedom? Conversations with Historians, Philosophers, and Activists, from Oxford University Press. 

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This podcast is created in partnership with The Philosopher, the UK’s longest running public philosophy journal. Check out the spring issue of the philosopher, and its spring online lecture series:

Artwork by Nick Halliday

Music by Rowan Mcilvride