Kymlicka explains liberalism as a theory that describes the relationship between individuals, groups, and the society. Will gives the liberal views, the importance and value of the culture in the community. Disintegration of Yugoslavia led to violent ethnic conflicts in the world. Since that time, there has been the need to enhance stability and cohesion in the multiethnic states. “The main challenge to this has been meeting the demands of national minorities, and finding the means of accommodating mass immigration”. Kymlicka brings up an argument that favors the survival of the minority groups according to the liberal theories. However, Kymlicka’s theory does not protect the minority cultures from threats imposed to in the global market. Kymlicka has advanced defense points on the group-differentiated rights in order to concur with the theories of liberal justice. According to his first article, Kymlicka illustrates that freedom and equality can only be given to a certain degree such that the government has a significant space of enforcing the rule of law. Despite the need of equality and freedom within any given society, enforcement of law and imposing certain societal and political constraints is part of any given social-political framework.
According to Kymlicka, the state gives people freedom to express their cultural attachments. The members of national and ethnic groups are free to maintain their heritage, and are protected against discrimination and prejudice. The government should not prevent the citizens from choosing their heritage and their plan of life. This is because, citizens, particularly in different ethnic groups have idiosyncratic needs and the government may not be trustworthy. The government may end up supporting controversial conceptions, which may result to civil strife among the members of the ethnic groups. In order for the liberals to endorse the minority rights, they have to respect the freedom of individuals. However, freedom is associated to the functioning of an individual, in a particular society or culture. This is because; the culture of a certain society dictates the activities that humans undertake. These include; educational, religious, recreational, economic, and social life.
Concerning the immigrant groups and societal cultures, Kymlicka asserts that the immigrant groups should be given poly-ethnic rights that assimilate them into the majority culture, as well as maintain some aspects of their culture. The value of autonomy is based on the importance of living a good life. Kymlicka argues that the some of the liberal political principles are the elements that constitute to a good life. These include religious freedom, and freedom of expression. There are two preconditions that liberals demand leading a good life. The first precondition is to live a life, whereby an individual has resources and liberties that enable him or her to live according to their beliefs and values. This precondition enables an individual to live according to his values without the fear of punishment, or discrimination. Will argues that an individual has the right to question their beliefs and the lights of their information. Individuals should be free to acquire, express and associate, to enhance awareness of different views of life. These improves the ways in which people judge on what is right and wrong, and learn about the different ways of life.
Will asserts that people should be allowed to live their lives according to how they want in order to pursue their goals. Individuals should be given information about how other people live their lives. This enhances the freedom of expression. The choices that people make about the social practices are based on the beliefs that these people have on these practices. Understanding the culture of a certain society improves the ways in which people learn the beliefs and practices of others. People will learn the history and the language of different communities. The role of a certain culture determines is value in the society. Once a person is attached to a certain culture, it is hard for the person to abandon the culture. This is because cultural membership gives identity of each individual in the society. The self-respect of a person is based on the culture in which the person is linked and associated.
Kymlicka asserts that liberals require a culture that is diverse and rich. Individuals despise the culture that has closed walls around themselves that cut them from the movement of the world generally. Comparing the needs and aspiration of the immigrants, national minorities, and the indigenous people, there is a great difference. There is no single formula that can be applied to all the groups to solve the differences between them. This is in terms of federalism. Secession issues, representation of the groups, and religious education.
Liberalism advocates for equality and liberty. Liberalists advocate for special rights to be given to minority groups. Liberalism is mainly based on compromise and the need to accommodate everyone in the community. Liberalism supports leadership without principles and a stand to follow. Liberalist advocate for compromise to accommodate the minority of people to fit in and compete with the rest. It does not give room for principled leadership. Liberalism advocates for the minority to be accorded special treatment to help them fit into the country. In his book “the right of minority cultures”, Will Kymlicka evaluates the possibility of accommodating minority cultures into the country’s systems. In his submission, Kymlicka argues, “in the past a number of problems were brought around by ethnocultural movements, which affected the political theory. On the other hand, a political theory should ex-plain those conflicts to help in identifying morally defendable positions and create politically implementable solutions for them”.
Language remains one of the main aspects of culture. The language and ethnicity of people largely affects the political spheres of the country. Governments have to decide on how to balance equality between different ethnicity and provide firm leadership for the country. Education is one of the ways of ways in which liberalism advocate for promotion of cultural equality is through the education sector. The minority cultures can be upheld by being integrating their cultures into the education system. Integrating their languages into the education system was one of the ways to preserve the cultures and give the minority people an equal opportunity in the education sector. In such cases liberalism cannot work. The government should have a firm stand in terms of direction and policies for its people. Compromise for the sake of liberation would compromise the quality of education and leadership in a country.
In addition to that, some cultural practices go against laws of a country. A government would have to compromise some of its laws in order to give people of that culture freedom to exercise their practices. As much, a government would want to uphold liberty by giving freedom of worship and associations, allowing some cultural practices would be a bleach of its laws. For example, the Jainism religion that allows suicide would not be acceptable in a country.
In conclusion, the rights of the minority in the society should not be used as the reason for the government to comprise the laws that have been set, and that affect the whole country. The minor groups in the society are important and have a great significance, but it should be noted that the country at large is greater and has more importance than they have. Indeed, any governance system is designed to serve a wide range of ethnicities over a long period of time; hence, people have the obligation to fit within the given system without fighting for certain levels of privileges that are impeccably impossible.
Kymlicka W., The Rights of Minority Cultures. New Jersey: Sage publishing group, 1992.