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Richard Rorty constructs a vision of the ideal citizen and the ideal society on the basis of three basic concepts: ethnocentrism, liberalism, and irony. This article critically examines his understanding of these three concepts and how he interrelates them. I will argue that Rorty’s political philosophy is lacking in internal coherence due to the strong tensions between these fundamental concepts, and that his political ideals may be less desirable than they may appear at first sight. I conclude by briefly sketching an alternative view which retains some elements from Rorty but which may possess greater internal coherence.