Beyond Liberalism: The Political Thought of F. A. Hayek and Michael Polanyi

Transaction Publishers - 266 Seiten

In "Beyond Nihilism, "Michael Polanyi argued that a merely "negative" liberty of doing as one pleases so long as one does not impinge upon the equal liberty of others--must and has led to destructive nihilism and a fierce reaction to collectivism. R.T. Allen takes up this argument in "Beyond Liberalism, "and shows how Polanyi's political philosophy evolved into a more "positive" and distinctly conservative concept of liberty, converging upon the archetypal conservatism of Edmund Burke. Allen examines Polanyi's and F.A. Hayek's thinking with respect to the nature, value, and foundations of liberty.

Negative and positive liberties are two sides of one liberty, and Allen believes negative conceptions of liberty are as dangerous as positive ones. He distinguishes among general and abstract definitions of liberty and shows how all, including that of Hayek, ultimately dissolve. According to Allen, only tacit conceptions of liberty, such as those of Burke and Polanyi, prove viable. This is because they rest on concrete tradition. Allen examines how the skeptical, rationalist, and utilitarian philosophies of Ludwig von Mises and Sir Karl Popper fail to support the value of liberty and even proved to be destructive of it. Allen argues that society cannot rely upon the classically liberal notion of contract but rather upon prescriptive and inherited obligations. In turn, this means that citizens have positive, as well as negative, duties to each other and the body politic of which they are part and upon whose support liberty depends.

A free society is held together by emotional bonds and the traditions and rituals that sustain them. A free society also presupposes that the individual has inherent value in and for himself. For R.T. Allen, only Christianity, and certainly no modern philosophy, has a conception of the unique individual and his irreplaceable value and of a political order that transcends itself into the moral order. Even Polanyi's liberty is ultimately insufficient, for it gives no inherent value to the person himself but instead to the ideals which he serves. "Beyond Liberalism "challenges deeply ingrained notions of liberty and its meaning in modern society. It is a call for traditions of self-restraint and justice for their own sakes. This noteworthy volume is an essential addition to the libraries of political scientists, philosophers, and theologians alike.

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Ausgewählte Seiten


The Nature of Liberty
Aspects and Notions of Liberty
Hayek and Liberty under Law
The Tacit Dimensions of Liberty
The Value of Liberty
The Open Society and Its Lack of Value
The Value of the Great Society
Justice and the Rights of the Individual
Dedication or Servitude
The Foundations and Presuppositions of Liberty
Two Models of a Free Society
The Obligations of a Free Society
The Emotional Bonds of Society
Ultimate Questions

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Seite 131 - Prejudice is of ready application in the emergency ; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, sceptical, puzzled, and unresolved. Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit : and not a series of unconnected acts. Through just prejudice, his duty becomes a part of his nature.
Seite 68 - In this sense the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights. But as the liberties and the restrictions vary with times and circumstances, and admit of infinite modifications, they cannot be settled upon any abstract rule ; and nothing is so foolish as to discuss them upon that principle.
Seite 212 - I cannot stand forward, and give praise or blame to anything which relates to human actions, and human concerns, on a simple view of the object, as it stands stripped of every relation, in all the nakedness and solitude of metaphysical abstraction. Circumstances (which with some gentlemen pass for nothing) give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing colour and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind.
Seite 128 - For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!" But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot; An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please; An' Tommy ain'ta bloomin' fool — you bet that Tommy sees!
Seite 9 - By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.
Seite 239 - All persons possessing any portion of power ought to be strongly and awfully impressed with an idea that they act in trust ; and that they are to account for their conduct in that trust to the one great Master, author and founder of society.
Seite 150 - The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government; and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.
Seite 66 - If any ask me what a free government is, I answer, that, for any practical purpose, it is what the people think so ; and that they, and not I, are the natural, lawful, and competent judges of this matter.
Seite 195 - It is to be looked on with other reverence; because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science ; a partnership in all art ; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection...

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