By liberalism I mean the view that equal freedom is the highest political, social, and moral principle. The big goal is to be able to do and get what we want, as much and as equally as possible.
That view comes from the view that transcendent standards don’t exist—or what amounts to the same thing, that they aren’t publicly knowable. That leaves desire as the standard for action, along with logic and knowledge of how to get what we want.
But this isn’t even coherent — is not the view stated in the first sentence a transcendent standard? What else is it, since it transcends every other consideration?
Perhaps he addresses this elsewhere, but modern liberalism is certainly not about all desires being equal. Beyond the race / gender / cultural categorization of desires (i.e., a desire is good or bad depending the properties of the person with the desire), I think the view that modern liberalism has even more fundamentally two types of desires —
I think classical liberalism was about maximizing consent, which is what I continue to hold as the primary value.