Las fronteras del liberalismo

Cuando se trata de si hay que regular la economía y cómo se debe hacer, las sociedades occidentales tienen una historia de teoría liberal en la que basarse. Pero cuando se trata de inmigración, en la tradición liberal no hay mucho a lo que puede recurrir. Como resultado, tanto en Europa como en Estados Unidos gran parte del debate sobre la inmigración está dominado por voces no liberales, y la más insistente proviene de políticos que prometen proteger la integridad cultural de la patria contra la supuesta degeneración del extranjero.

La xenofobia es una respuesta no liberal por parte de la derecha hacia la inmigración, pero el multiculturalismo representa prácticamente lo mismo por parte de la izquierda. Muchos teóricos multiculturales, aunque comprometidos con la apertura hacia los inmigrantes, no lo están con la apertura de los inmigrantes hacia su nuevo hogar. Para ellos, los recién llegados, que viven en un ambiente hostil a su estilo de vida, necesitan conservar las prácticas culturales que traen consigo, incluso si algunas de ellas -por ejemplo, matrimonios arreglados, segregación de género, adoctrinamiento religioso- entran en conflicto con los principios liberales. La supervivencia del grupo cuenta más que los derechos individuales, a ojos de muchos multiculturalistas.

Una manera de mantener un compromiso con la apertura al abordar la difícil pregunta de las fronteras nacionales es reconocer que el cosmopolitismo es un camino de dos vías. Immanuel Kant nos enseña que las circunstancias en las que nos encontramos siempre se deben juzgar en relación con las circunstancias en las que, si no hubiera sido por la fuerza del azar, nos podríamos haber encontrado.

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