vents reasoned political debate; it is thatnindividual rights themselves have replacednpolitics.nGlendon does not attempt to explainnwhy some rights are legitimatenand others are not. (Nor, it seems, is itnpossible to give such an explanation.)nShe argues that some debates, such asnthat regarding abortion, ought not tonbe argued in terms of rights alone. Butnthis is simply because the legitimatenconflict (legitimate, that is, in terms ofna liberal rights theory) is so difficult tondecide in terms of rights. Glendonnargues further that an ethos of responsibilitynand obligation (as well as ansociety more welcoming of children)nwould make this particular batfle easiernto resolve. Of course she is correct; butnif “rights” is still the category of justicenat work, recourse to the “right tonchoose” will remain a trump. Andnwhen rights conflict, strength wins thenday.nMore fundamentally, Glendonnseems to commit the common mistakenof not seeing that liberalism is itself anpolitical and moral tradition, one whichnrejects an ethic of responsibility in favornof one of claims and rights. Typically,nAmericans think liberalism is distinctivenprecisely because it does not describenthe social narrative; or as StanleynHauerwas puts it, “The story thatnliberalism teaches us is that we have nonstory, and as a result we fail to noticen34/CHRONICLESnLIBERAL ARTSnCASUALTIES OF SCALEnIn an effort to decrease American dependencenon foreign oil, Senator RichardnBryan of Nevada has introduced anbill that would require automobile manufacturersnto raise the minimum milesnper gallon to 34 by 1996 and to 40 byn2001. Executive Alert of the NationalnCenter for Policy Analysis reported lastnfall that “the Corporate Average FuelnEconomy (CAFE) program is alreadynresponsible for 2,200 to 3,900 additionalntraffic deaths per model-year fleetnbecause it has forced a decrease innvehicle weight, putting smaller, less safencars on the road.” It predicts that thennew regulations would result in doublingnthe number of highway fatalitiesninvolving down-sized, fuel-efficientncars.nhow deeply that story determines ournlives.” The story of liberalism is that wenhave no responsibility beyond protectingnour own individual lives.nGlendon’s book is evidence that thenrights theory at work in America is thenHobbesian version that she explicitlynquestions. “The Right of Nature,” saysnThomas Hobbes, “is the Liberty eachnman hath, to use his own power, as henwill himselfe, for the preservation of hisnown Nature; that is to say, of his ownnLife; and consequenfly of doing anynthing which in his own Judgement, andnReason, hee shall conceive to be thenaptest means thereunto. … It followeth,nthat in such a condition, everynman has Right to every thing; even tonone anothers body.” Of course, sincenthis renders us all at risk, we provisionallyngive up some aspects of this rightnand invent government to protect others.nBut the doctrine remains, andnGlendon off^ers substantial evidencenthat we are becoming an example ofnHobbes’ most famous sentence: “Tonthis warre of every man against everynman, this also is consequent; that nothingncan be Unjust. The notions ofnRight and Wrong, Justice and Injusticenhave there no place.” Hobbes is describingnthe “state of nature,” towardnwhich America is regressing. ProfessornGlendon sees this in what may be asnstrong an indictment of liberal rights asnnnone can find:nNeither the older political andncivil rights, nor the newerneconomic and social rights, cannbe secure in the absence ofnsocial arrangements that inducenthose who are disadvantaged bynthe rights of others to accept thenrestrictions and interferencesnthat such rights entail. Whennindividual rights are permitted tonundermine the communitiesnthat are the source of suchnpractice, they thus destroy theirnown surest underpinning.nGlendon sees that “the evidence isnmounting that we have been living fornquite some time on inherited socialncapital, consuming our resources withoutnreplenishing them.” But we mustnunderstand that this is according to thenvery genius of liberalism: those institutionsnthat allow a liberal society to havensome modicum of civility are inverselynproportionate to the assertion and exercisenof “rights.”nThese warnings and others in RightsnTalk seem to indicate that Glendonnherself may be implicitiy giving up onnthe idea of rights, despite her efforts tonpreserve the theory that justifies them.nShe calls for a kind of “rights” that isnintrinsically delimited or qualified by anparticular context, and by a languagenof obverse duty and responsibility. Ifnthis is what she advocates, she is talkingnnot about human but about civic ornlegal rights.nGlendon seems also to point back tona prediberal understanding of naturalnright, or natural justice. This theorynholds not that individuals are born withnrights, but that there is a naturally right,nor naturally just, way to organize politicalnsociety. She attempts not to defendnthese natural rights but to modify ournunderstanding of ourselves and thenlaw, and herein may be the real valuenof the book: it is an earnest, careful,nand intelligent attempt to work within antheory of natural rights that demonstratesnprecisely why such a doctrinendoes not work. Glendon hints at somethingnother than the current rightsnparadigm, at a much more promisingnway of arranging political society. Regrettably,nsuch “rights talk” will notnsoon be purged from American politicalndiscourse.n