Surely you must know the adverse effects of bad diet and no exercise. Why should the taxpayer pay for what is, ultimately, the exercise of your freedom of choice? This is the question that Jeremy Paxman asked the former NHS chief Sir David Nicholson, when Nicholson went to Newsnight to describe his transition from being the head of the NHS to becoming yet another NHS patient with diabetes.
I am very uncomfortable with the usage of the term post-something. We live in the post-secular age, Habermas argues, or “we live in an era which perceives itself as post-ideological” Žižek says in a recent article. This seems to suggest that we have indeed dealt with the challenges of the era that we have now left behind, in these cases the secular and ideological era, as if classes have become irrelevant and religion has either disappeared or became comfortably confined to the private sphere of the liberal state.
Opposite the critiques of group-rights, stands Tariq Modood who is one of the most vocal proponents of multiculturalism in the UK. His book Multiculturalism: a Civic Idea (2007) is a reply to the conservative claims that multiculturalism is dead, like those advanced by the British Prime Minister David Cameron when discussing terrorism and radicalisation (05 February 2011).
“The notion that birth is fate – that simply in virtue of being born into a certain ethnic group one acquires the (potentially enforceable) duty to maintain its ancestral culture – is continuous with a kind of ethnic nationalism that is potentially at odds with liberalism.” Brian Barry, Culture and Equality, p. 65.
I disagree with most of Barry’s points, but I do share his worries (end envy his writing style).