Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference (Introduction)
J. Inazu, Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference, University of Chicago Press, 2016, Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 31 May 2015 Last revised: 9 Jun 2015
Date Written: May 29, 2015
This is the draft introduction to my forthcoming book, Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Confident Pluralism argues that we can and must live together peaceably in spite of deep and sometimes irresolvable differences over politics, religion, sexuality, and other important matters. We can do so in two important ways. The first is by insisting upon constitutional commitments in three areas of the law: (1) protecting the voluntary groups of civil society through the rights of assembly and association; (2) facilitating and enabling dissent, disagreement, and diversity in public forums; and (3) ensuring that generally available government funding is not limited by government orthodoxy. The second way to pursue Confident Pluralism is by embodying its aspirations of tolerance, humility, and patience in three civic practices: (1) our speech; (2) our collective action (protests, strikes, and boycotts); and (3) our relationships across difference. Confident Pluralism suggests that when it comes to these civic practices, it is often better to tolerate than to protest, better to project humility than defensiveness, and better to wait patiently for the fruits of persuasion than to force the consequences of coercion. Confident Pluralism will not give us the American Dream. But it might help avoid the American Nightmare.
Keywords: pluralism, deep difference, assembly, association, speech, public forum, boycotts, tolerance
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