In the NYRB, Timothy Garton Ash suggests a “pentagram of liberal virtues” for contemporary multicultural societies.
The virtues – inclusion, clarity, consistency, firmness, and liberality – will help us avoid “policies described as ‘multiculturalism’ over the last thirty years have had deeply illiberal consequences.”
“Why not simply talk about the form of modern liberalism suited—meaning also, developed and adapted—to the conditions of a contemporary, multicultural society?,” Ash asks.
Key to Ashs’ conception of modern liberalism is the fifth virtue of his pentagram, liberality. He explains:
“The meanings of “liberality” include generosity, open-mindedness, and freedom from prejudice. It evokes the strand of liberalism that takes a generous, curious, imaginative interest in other cultures, philosophies, and ways of life. Most brilliantly represented by Isaiah Berlin, this liberal pluralist approach goes beyond the mere affirmation that liberal societies do not require all their citizens to be liberals. It takes seriously the proposition that we can understand, appreciate, and learn from others even while profoundly disagreeing with them.”