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Society-foundational and Diversity-Oriented Values

An important basic principle for Diversity in Liberalism is that the state shall take a clear stand in favor of certain values that are important for the proper functioning of society, and which are also chosen so that all (or most) citizens kan be expected to subscribe to them. We characterize such values as society-foundational. Values of other kinds should not be a concern of the state, and different groups in the national diversity may take different stands with respect to them.

One important kind of society-foundational values is those that define rules and attitudes in the relationships between different groups in the diversity. The first of these is the rejection of all kinds of supremacism, that is, views that one group is superior to another. The general concept of supremacism includes racism, sexism, and religionism. The latter is the belief that one religion is superior to another one, and that its adherents can exercise superiority over the non-adherents. ' in the Another important value is freedom of assimilation, that is, the rule that every person is free to choose which group(s) he or she wishes to join. No group can demand from its members that they shall follow the group's rules and values, and it shall always be acceptable for a person to combine behaviors from different groups.

What's been said so far is generally accepted in Western countries, but not accepted in some other ideologies. However, the position of 'Diversity in Liberalism' adds an additional point that is not part of the standard, and that may be controversial. We propose a requirement on leaders and representatives of every group in the diversity: they shall not be allowed to preach or advocate theses that violate the freedom of assimilation. For example, it shall not be allowed for a religious leader to (attempt to) forbid the members of his congregation from marrying a partner in another group, or to threaten divine punishment if they do so, or if they leave the group.

This rule is clearly an exception from the freedom of expression, and it is only proposed for spokespersons of cultural groups, not for citizens in general. In order to have such a rule, there must also be a way for such groups to identify themselves, and there must be criteria for determining when a person shall count as a spokesperson for the group.

The violation of this rule may possibly lead to legal action in extreme cases, but there may also be less drastic ways for society to react against violations of this rule.

Additional examples of society-foundational values can be found in the article about T.A. Aleinikoff in the page under the tab 'Background'.