The word “freedom” is so overly used—and frequently abused—that it is always in danger of becoming nothing but a cliché. In Another Freedom, Svetlana Boym offers us a refreshing new portrait of the age-old concept. Exploring the rich cross-cultural history of the idea of freedom, from its origins in ancient Greece to the present day, she argues that our attempts to imagine freedom should occupy the space of not only “what is” but also “what if.” Beginning with notions of sacrifice and the emergence of a public sphere for politics and art, Boym expands her account to include the relationships between freedom and liberation, modernity and terror, and political dissent and creative estrangement. While depicting a world of differences, she affirms lasting solidarities based on the commitment to the passionate thinking that reflections on freedom require. To do so, Boym assembles a remarkable cast of characters: Aeschylus and Euripides, Kafka and Mandelstam, Arendt and Heidegger, and a virtual encounter between Dostoevsky and Marx on the streets of Paris.
By offering a fresh look at the strange history of this idea, Another Freedom delivers a nuanced portrait of freedom, one whose repercussions will be felt well into the future.
Thomas Aquinas and Jean-Paul Sartre are usually identified with completely different philosophical traditions: intellectualism and voluntarism. In this original study, Stephen Wang shows, instead, that there are some profound similarities in their understanding of freedom and human identity.
Art and Freedom
E. E. Sleinis University of Illinois Press, 2002 Library of Congress BH39.S5518 2003 | Dewey Decimal 701.17
What does a life with art offer that a life without art does not? Art and Freedom asserts that the fundamental point of the enterprise of art is the creation and delivery of values that are not singularly available in the nonart world.
E. E. Sleinis discusses visual art, literature, music, theater, and other art forms, arguing that as art both liberates and provides new points of focus and awareness, the art enterprise depends on a positive freeing from the nonart world, rather than on mere addition to it. Art and Freedom introduces a novel classificatory system for representation, expression, and formalist theories of art. Sleinis argues that a characteristic defect of contemporary theories of art is their neglect of the issue of value. Challenging these reductive, formalist notions of art, he emphasizes the potential, and the need, for art to evolve and make progress in ways comparable to the sciences, albeit on a very different model.
A smart blend of incisive commentary and illuminating philosophy, Art and Freedom provides a useful context for transforming a sometimes baffling medium into a means of fostering personal growth and creating and sharing values.
This book is both an analysis of the Bastille as cultural paradigm and a case study on the history of French political culture. It examines in particular the storming and subsequent fall of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789 and how it came to represent the cornerstone of the French Revolution, becoming a symbol of the repression of the Old Regime. Lüsebrink and Reichardt use this semiotic reading of the Bastille to reveal how historical symbols are generated; what these symbols’ functions are in the collective memory of societies; and how they are used by social, political, and ideological groups. To facilitate the symbolic nature of the investigation, this analysis of the evolving signification of the Bastille moves from the French Revolution to the nineteenth century to contemporary history. The narrative also shifts from France to other cultural arenas, like the modern European colonial sphere, where the overthrow of the Bastille acquired radical new signification in the decolonization period of the 1940s and 1950s. The Bastille demonstrates the potency of the interdisciplinary historical research that has characterized the end of this century, combining quantitative and qualitative approaches, and taking its methodological tools from history, sociology, linguistics, and cultural and literary studies.
<i>Winner of the SECOLAS Alfred B. Thomas Book Award</i>
<i>Named Best Social Science Book, LASA Southern Cone Studies Section</i>
In Santiago, Chile, poverty and state violence have often led to grassroots resistance movements among the poor and working class. Alison J. Bruey offers a compelling history of the struggle for social justice and democracy during the Pinochet dictatorship. Deeply grounded by both extensive oral history interviews and archival research, Bread, Justice, and Liberty provides innovative contributions to scholarship on Chilean history, social movements, popular protest and democratization, neoliberal economics, and the Cold War in Latin America.
Through the support of PEN Center USA, Iranian American poet and translator Sholeh Wolpé has brought together sixty American poets to address the world through poems that not only meditate on the principles of freedom, justice, and tolerance but also boldly and directly address specific countries. Natasha Trethewey, Robert Bly, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, Carolyn Forché, Billy Collins, Jorie Graham, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Quincy Troupe are just some of the poets whose work is gathered in this powerful new collection. These poets speak out in the tradition of all poets who speak out in uprisings, seeking to change the landscape despite an environment of oppression, torture, and denial of basic human rights. All poems included were gifted to this anthology, which will benefit PEN Center USA's Freedom to Write program.
Capitalism and Freedom
Milton Friedman University of Chicago Press, 2020 Library of Congress HB501.F7 2020 | Dewey Decimal 330.122
One of TIME magazine’s All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books
One of Times Literary Supplement’s 100 Most Influential Books Since the War
One of National Review’s 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Century
One of Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s 50 Best Books of the 20th Century
How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, Milton Friedman provides the definitive statement of an immensely influential economic philosophy—one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom.
First published in 1962, Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom is one of the most significant works of economic theory ever written. Enduring in its eminence and esteem, it has sold nearly a million copies in English, has been translated into eighteen languages, and continues to inform economic thinking and policymaking around the world. This new edition includes prefaces written by Friedman for both the 1982 and 2002 reissues of the book, as well as a new foreword by Binyamin Appelbaum, lead economics writer for the New York Times editorial board.
Capitalism and Freedom
Milton Friedman University of Chicago Press, 1963 Library of Congress HB501.F7 1982 | Dewey Decimal 330.122
In the classic bestseller, Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman presents his view of the proper role of competitive capitalism—the organization of economic activity through private enterprise operating in a free market—as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom. Beginning with a discussion of principles of a liberal society, Friedman applies them to such constantly pressing problems as monetary policy, discrimination, education, income distribution, welfare, and poverty.
"Milton Friedman is one of the nation's outstanding economists, distinguished for remarkable analytical powers and technical virtuosity. He is unfailingly enlightening, independent, courageous, penetrating, and above all, stimulating."-Henry Hazlitt, Newsweek
"It is a rare professor who greatly alters the thinking of his professional colleagues. It's an even rarer one who helps transform the world. Friedman has done both."-Stephen Chapman, Chicago Tribune
Selected by the Times Literary Supplement as one of the "hundred most influential books since the war"
How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, Milton Friedman provides the definitive statement of his immensely influential economic philosophy—one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom. The result is an accessible text that has sold well over half a million copies in English, has been translated into eighteen languages, and shows every sign of becoming more and more influential as time goes on.
China’s Quest for Liberty is a personal story of a young man fully engaged in understanding the world he was born into and working toward making that world into a better and freer place to life. It is about an unexpected journey a Chinese journalist has taken to pursue freedom, involving such diverse fields or disciplines as politics, business, humanities, science and technology, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Some took place as daily life, and some occurred in detentions or disasters.
It is about a world whose dimensions have been basically obscured not only in China but also in the global public square, and walk with this young journalist, step by step, to find, paradoxically, the hope in the depth of hopelessness, the strength in acknowledging weakness, the change in substance by, among other things, keeping the form unchanged for at least a while, the youth in growing up despite growing old, the invisible in the visible, the imperishable in the perishable, the reality in the shadow of numerous fake realities, and the freedom gained not mainly through human efforts but as mercy and grace from the one who created humans and other beings.
As well as digging out the overlooked Christian background in the rise of the sanctity of human life, creative culture, constitutionalism, work as a vocation, modern management, servant leadership, and catchphrases like “the global village” and “The medium is the message”, the author tells of insider observations about the rise of Christianity in China generally and about Shouwang Church in particular. Through sharing these findings, this book aims to show how the one who made the universe rules the world and how this creator sets his creatures free by himself.
China’s Quest for Liberty is a fascinating work of nuance and surprise.
Western liberal societies are characterized by two stories: a positive story of freedom of conscience and the recognition of community and human rights, and a negative story of unrestrained freedom that leads to self-centeredness, vacuity, and the destructive compromise of human values. Can the Catholic Church play a more meaningful role in assisting liberal societies in telling their better story?
Australian ethicist Robert Gascoigne thinks it can. In The Church and Secularity he considers the meaning of secularity as a shared space for all citizens and asks how the Church can contribute to a sensitivity to—and respect for—human dignity and human rights. Drawing on Augustine’s City of God and Vatican II’s Gaudium et spes, Gascoigne interprets the meaning of freedom in liberal societies through the lens of Augustine’s “two loves,” the love of God and neighbor and the love of self, and reveals how the two are connected to our contemporary experience.
The Church and Secularity argues that the Church can serve liberal societies in a positive way and that its own social identity, rooted in Eucharistic communities, must be bound up with the struggle for human rights and resistance to the commodification of the human in all its forms.
France has long defined itself as a color-blind nation where racial bias has no place. Even today, the French universal curriculum for secondary students makes no mention of race or slavery, and many French scholars still resist addressing racial questions. Yet, as this groundbreaking volume shows, color and other racial markers have been major factors in French national life for more than three hundred years. The sixteen essays in The Color of Liberty offer a wealth of innovative research on the neglected history of race in France, ranging from the early modern period to the present.
The Color of Liberty addresses four major themes: the evolution of race as an idea in France; representations of "the other" in French literature, art, government, and trade; the international dimensions of French racial thinking, particularly in relation to colonialism; and the impact of racial differences on the shaping of the modern French city. The many permutations of race in French history—as assigned identity, consumer product icon, scientific discourse, philosophical problem, by-product of migration, or tool in empire building—here receive nuanced treatments confronting the malleability of ideas about race and the uses to which they have been put.
Contributors. Leora Auslander, Claude Blanckaert, Alice Conklin, Fred Constant, Laurent Dubois, Yaël Simpson Fletcher, Richard Fogarty, John Garrigus, Dana Hale, Thomas C. Holt, Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Dennis McEnnerney, Michael A. Osborne, Lynn Palermo, Sue Peabody, Pierre H. Boulle, Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, Tyler Stovall, Michael G. Vann, Gary Wilder
Commager on Tocqueville
Henry Steele Commager University of Missouri Press, 1993 Library of Congress JC229.T8C63 1993 | Dewey Decimal 321.8
Commager on Tocqueville is Henry Steele Commager's masterful interpretation of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. Using Tocqueville's classic as a vehicle for discussing such contemporary issues as the environment, civil rights, and the military-industrial complex, Commager calls for a new vision of American leadership that trascends nationalism.
"Liberty was the most cherished right possessed by English-speaking people in the eighteenth century. It was both an ideal for the guidance of governors and a standard with which to measure the constitutionality of government; both a cause of the American Revolution and a purpose for drafting the United States Constitution; both an inheritance from Great Britain and a reason republican common lawyers continued to study the law of England."
As John Philip Reid goes on to make clear, "liberty" did not mean to the eighteenth-century mind what it means today. In the twentieth century, we take for granted certain rights—such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press—with which the state is forbidden to interfere. To the revolutionary generation, liberty was preserved by curbing its excesses. The concept of liberty taught not what the individual was free to do but what the rule of law permitted. Ultimately, liberty was law—the rule of law and the legalism of custom. The British constitution was the charter of liberty because it provided for the rule of law.
Drawing on an impressive command of the original materials, Reid traces the eighteenth-century notion of liberty to its source in the English common law. He goes on to show how previously problematic arguments involving the related concepts of licentiousness, slavery, arbitrary power, and property can also be fit into the common-law tradition. Throughout, he focuses on what liberty meant to the people who commented on and attempted to influence public affairs on both sides of the Atlantic. He shows the depth of pride in liberty—English liberty—that pervaded the age, and he also shows the extent—unmatched in any other era or among any other people—to which liberty both guided and motivated political and constitutional action.
"One of the great political works of our time, . . . the twentieth-century successor to John Stuart Mill's essay, 'On Liberty.'"—Henry Hazlitt, Newsweek
"A reflective, often biting, commentary on the nature of our society and its dominant thought by one who is passionately opposed to the coercion of human beings by the arbitrary will of others, who puts liberty above welfare and is sanguine that greater welfare will thereby ensue."—Sidney Hook, New York Times Book Review
In this classic work Hayek restates the ideals of freedom that he believes have guided, and must continue to guide, the growth of Western civilization. Hayek's book, first published in 1960, urges us to clarify our beliefs in today's struggle of political ideologies.
From the $700 billion bailout of the banking industry to president Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package to the highly controversial passage of federal health-care reform, conservatives and concerned citizens alike have grown increasingly fearful of big government. Enter Nobel Prize–winning economist and political theorist F. A. Hayek, whose passionate warning against empowering states with greater economic control, The Road to Serfdom, became an overnight sensation last summer when it was endorsed by Glenn Beck. The book has since sold over 150,000 copies.
The latest entry in the University of Chicago Press’s series of newly edited editions of Hayek’s works, The Constitution of Liberty is, like Serfdom, just as relevant to our present moment. The book is considered Hayek’s classic statement on the ideals of freedom and liberty, ideals that he believes have guided—and must continue to guide—the growth of Western civilization. Here Hayek defends the principles of a free society, casting a skeptical eye on the growth of the welfare state and examining the challenges to freedom posed by an ever expanding government—as well as its corrosive effect on the creation, preservation, and utilization of knowledge. In opposition to those who call for the state to play a greater role in society, Hayek puts forward a nuanced argument for prudence. Guided by this quality, he elegantly demonstrates that a free market system in a democratic polity—under the rule of law and with strong constitutional protections of individual rights—represents the best chance for the continuing existence of liberty.
Striking a balance between skepticism and hope, Hayek’s profound insights are timelier and more welcome than ever before. This definitive edition of The Constitution of Liberty will give a new generation the opportunity to learn from his enduring wisdom.
Controlling the State
GORDON Harvard University Press, 1999 Library of Congress JF229.G67 1999 | Dewey Decimal 321.801
This book examines the development of the theory and practice of constitutionalism, defined as a political system in which the coercive power of the state is controlled through a pluralistic distribution of political power. It explores the main venues of constitutional practice in ancient Athens, Republican Rome, Renaissance Venice, the Dutch Republic, seventeenth-century England, and eighteenth-century America.
From its beginning in Polybius' interpretation of the classical concept of "mixed government," the author traces the theory of constitutionalism through its late medieval appearance in the Conciliar Movement of church reform and in the Huguenot defense of minority rights. After noting its suppression with the emergence of the nation-state and the Bodinian doctrine of "sovereignty," the author describes how constitutionalism was revived in the English conflict between king and Parliament in the early Stuart era, and how it has developed since then into the modern concept of constitutional democracy.
Throughout American literature, the figure of the child is often represented in opposition to the adult. In Cradle of Liberty Caroline F. Levander proposes that this opposition is crucial to American political thought and the literary cultures that surround and help produce it. Levander argues that from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth, American literary and political texts did more than include child subjects: they depended on them to represent, naturalize, and, at times, attempt to reconfigure the ground rules of U.S. national belonging. She demonstrates how, as the modern nation-state and the modern concept of the child (as someone fundamentally different from the adult) emerged in tandem from the late eighteenth century forward, the child and the nation-state became intertwined. The child came to represent nationalism, nation-building, and the intrinsic connection between nationalism and race that was instrumental in creating a culture of white supremacy in the United States.
Reading texts by John Adams, Thomas Paine, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Augusta J. Evans, Mark Twain, Pauline Hopkins, William James, José Martí, W. E. B. Du Bois, and others, Levander traces the child as it figures in writing about several defining events for the United States. Among these are the Revolutionary War, the U.S.-Mexican War, the Civil War, and the U.S. expulsion of Spain from the Caribbean and Cuba. She charts how the child crystallized the concept of self—a self who could affiliate with the nation—in the early national period, and then follows the child through the rise of a school of American psychology and the period of imperialism. Demonstrating that textual representations of the child have been a potent force in shaping public opinion about race, slavery, exceptionalism, and imperialism, Cradle of Liberty shows how a powerful racial logic pervades structures of liberal democracy in the United States.
In this ambitious book, philosopher Otfried Höffe provides a sophisticated account of the principle of freedom and its role in the project of modernity. Höffe addresses a set of complex questions concerning the possibility of political justice and equity in the modern world, the destruction of nature, the dissolving of social cohesion, and the deregulation of uncontrollable markets. Through these considerations, he shows how the idea of freedom is central to modernity, and he assesses freedom’s influence in a number of cultural dimensions, including the natural, economic and social, artistic and scientific, political, ethical, and personal-metaphysical.
Neither rejecting nor defending freedom and modernity, he instead explores both from a Kantian point of view, looking closely at the facets of freedom’s role and the fundamental position it has taken at the heart of modern life. Expanding beyond traditional philosophy, Critique of Freedom develops the building blocks of a critical theory of technology, environmental protection, economics, politics, medicine, and education. With a sophisticated yet straightforward style, Höffe draws on a range of disciplines in order to clearly distinguish and appreciate the many meanings of freedom and the indispensable role they play in liberal society.
Paul Gilroy seeks to awaken a new understanding of W. E. B. Du Bois’s intellectual and political legacy. At a time of economic crisis, environmental degradation, ongoing warfare, and heated debate over human rights, how should we reassess the changing place of black culture?
Gilroy considers the ways that consumerism has diverted African Americans’ political and social aspirations. Luxury goods and branded items, especially the automobile—rich in symbolic value and the promise of individual freedom—have restratified society, weakened citizenship, and diminished the collective spirit. Jazz, blues, soul, reggae, and hip hop are now seen as generically American, yet artists like Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, and Bob Marley, who questioned the allure of mobility and speed, are not understood by people who have drained their music of its moral power.
Gilroy explores the way in which objects and technologies can become dynamic social forces, ensuring black culture’s global reach while undermining the drive for equality and justice. Drawing on the work of a number of thinkers, including Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, and Frantz Fanon, he examines the ethical dimensions of living in a society that celebrates the object. What are the implications for our notions of freedom?
With his brilliant, provocative analysis and astonishing range of reference, Gilroy revitalizes the study of African American culture. He traces the shifting character of black intellectual and social movements, and shows how we can construct an account of moral progress that reflects today’s complex realities.
Ute Gerhard places women's rights at the center of legal philosophy and sees the struggle for equality as a driving force in the history of law. Focusing on Europe and taking the course of German feminism and law as primary examples, she incorporates the various social contexts in which questions of equality and gender difference have been raised into an analysis that challenges misconceptions about the principle of equality itself.
Gerhard reviews the history of women's movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and traces the historical development of claims to gender equality as well as obstacles to these claims. Critically exploring the influence of philosophers such as Rousseau, Fichte, and Kant, Gerhard concludes that women need to be recognized as both equal and different-that claims to equality do not simply eliminate difference, but also articulate it. Mindful of the social and political contexts surrounding equality arguments, Gerhard probes three legal issues: women's rights in the public sphere, especially the right to vote; women's legal capacities in private law, or the legal doctrine of so-called gender tutelage; and women's human rights, a prominent concern in the current international women's movement.
The noted legal scholar Richard Epstein advocates a much smaller federal government, arguing that our over-regulated state gives too much discretion to regulators, which results in arbitrary, unfair decisions and other abuses. Epstein bases his classical liberalism on the twin pillars of the rule of law and of private contracts and property rights.
Although there is constant conflict over its meanings and limits, political freedom itself is considered a fundamental and universal value throughout the modern world. For most of human history, however, this was not the case. In this book, Kurt Raaflaub asks the essential question: when, why, and under what circumstances did the concept of freedom originate?
To find out, Raaflaub analyses ancient Greek texts from Homer to Thucydides in their social and political contexts. Archaic Greece, he concludes, had little use for the idea of political freedom; the concept arose instead during the great confrontation between Greeks and Persians in the early fifth century BCE. Raaflaub then examines the relationship of freedom with other concepts, such as equality, citizenship, and law, and pursues subsequent uses of the idea—often, paradoxically, as a tool of domination, propaganda, and ideology.
Raaflaub's book thus illuminates both the history of ancient Greek society and the evolution of one of humankind's most important values, and will be of great interest to anyone who wants to understand the conceptual fabric that still shapes our world views.
How does the body politic reflect the nature of human embodiment? To pursue this question in a new and productive way, James Mensch employs a methodology consistent with the fact of our embodiment; he uses Merleau-Ponty’s concept of "intertwining"—the presence of one’s self in the world and of the world in one’s self—to understand the ideas that define political life.
Mensch begins his inquiry by developing a philosophical anthropology based on this concept. He then applies the results of his investigation to the relations of power, authority, freedom, and sovereignty in public life. This involves confronting a line of interpretation, stretching from Hobbes to Agamben, which sees violence as both initiating and preserving the social contract. To contest this interpretation, Mensch argues against its presupposition, which is to equate freedom with sovereignty over others. He does so by understanding political freedom in terms of embodiment—in particular, in terms of the finitude and interdependence that our embodiment entails. Freedom, conceived in these terms, is understood as the gift of others. As a function of our dependence on others, it cannot exist apart from them. To show how public space and civil society presuppose this interdependence is the singular accomplishment of Embodiments. It accomplishes a phenomenological grounding for a new type of political philosophy.
In this thoughtful and timely consideration of the nature of American power and empire, Anthony Bogues argues that America’s self-presentation as the bastion of liberty is an attempt to force upon the world a single universal truth, which has the objective of eradicating the radical imagination. Central to this project of American supremacy is the elaboration and construction of a language of power in which a form of self-government appears as the form of sovereignty. Grappling with issues of power, race, slavery, violence, and the nature of postcolonial criticism and critical theory, Bogues offers reconsiderations of the writings of W. E. B. DuBois and Frantz Fanon in order to break holes in this accepted structure of empire. At its heart this is a work of radical humanistic theory that seeks to glean from the postcolonial world and empire an alternative to its imperial form of freedom.
Stephen Darwall, Editor University of Michigan Press, 1995 Library of Congress JC585.E675 1995 | Dewey Decimal 323.44
and libertarian are frequently seen as opposing political labels. These two views and their oppositions are the topic of this collection of important essays by an exceptionally distinguished group of thinkers. Each was originally given as one of the lectures in the Tanner Lectures on Human Values series. This collection of essays can be read as a critique of libertarianism. A libertarian, in contemporary discussion, is one who supports no more than a minimal state—a government that protects individuals from assault, murder, theft, and other invasions of their "Lockean" rights but otherwise does not interfere with voluntary economic or personal activity. Egalitarian, on the other hand, generally refers to someone who is prepared to favor such interference if it is necessary to reduce substantial inequalities of certain kinds and if, perhaps, it is democratically authorized. Several of the essays, those of John Rawls, T. M. Scanlon, G. A. Cohen, and Ronald Dworkin, advance different versions of this liberal egalitarian line of argument. Each maintains that the ideas of freedom and equality are part of a fundamental justificatory ideal from which any rights-specifying norms, including those of libertarianism, would have to be derived. Each proposes a distinctive vision of this fundamental ideal. And each argues, on this basis, for egalitarian moral or political principles. Amartya Sen's essay can also be placed within a broadly liberal egalitarian tradition, although it is less an argument for substantive equality (and against libertarianism) than a discussion of what form a reasonable egalitarianism might take. Quentin Skinner directly criticizes libertarianism in ways that arguably tend to support egalitarianism, although this is not his primary aim.
Before 1865, slavery and freedom coexisted tenuously in America in an environment that made it possible not only for enslaved women to become free but also for emancipated women to suddenly lose their independence. Wilma King now examines a wide-ranging body of literature to show that, even in the face of economic deprivation and draconian legislation, many free black women were able to maintain some form of autonomy and lead meaningful lives.
The Essence of Liberty blends social, political, and economic history to analyze black women’s experience in both the North and the South, from the colonial period through emancipation. Focusing on class and familial relationships, King examines the myriad sources of freedom for black women to show the many factors that, along with time spent in slavery before emancipation, shaped the meaning of freedom. Her book also raises questions about whether free women were bound to or liberated from gender conventions of their day.
Drawing on a wealth of untapped primary sources—not only legal documents and newspapers but also the diaries, letters, and autobiographical writings of free women—King opens a new window on the world of black women. She examines how they became free, educated themselves, found jobs, maintained self-esteem, and developed social consciousness—even participating in the abolitionist movement. She considers the stance of southern free women toward their enslaved contemporaries and the interactions between previously free and newly freed women after slavery ended. She also looks closely at women’s spirituality, disclosing the dilemma some women faced when they took a stand against men—even black men—in order to follow their spiritual callings.
Throughout this engaging history, King underscores the pernicious constraints that racism placed on the lives of free blacks in spite of the fact that they were not enslaved. The Essence of Liberty shows the importance of studying these women on their own terms, revealing that the essence of freedom is more complex than the mere absence of shackles.
In what can only be called a genuine intellectual adventure, Russell Berman raises fundamental questions long ignored by literary scholars; Why does literature command our attention at all? Why would society want to cultivate a sphere of activity devoted to the careful study of literary fiction? Written as a tonic to what he calls the debilitating cultural relativism of contemporary literary studies, Fiction Sets You Free advances the innovative argument that literature and capitalism, rather than representing merely commercialization, actually belie a long and positive association: literary autonomy is a central part of modern Western culture, thoroughly intertwined with political democracy and free market capitalism.
All of Europe was swept up in the events of the French Revolution and the radical restructuring of society that occurred in its aftermath. This collection of essays by leading academics explores how Welsh clerics, diplomats, singers, poets, journalists, and soldiers—many of whom traveled to Paris to witness the conflict firsthand—responded to the Revolution.
More than one hundred years before Barack Obama, George Edwin Taylor made presidential history. Born in the antebellum South to a slave and a freed woman, Taylor became the first African American ticketed as a political party’s nominee for president of the United States, running against Theodore Roosevelt in 1904.
Orphaned as a child at the peak of the Civil War, Taylor spent several years homeless before boarding a Mississippi riverboat that dropped him in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Taken in by an African American farm family, Taylor attended a private school and eventually rose to prominence as the owner/editor of a labor newspaper and as a vocal leader in Wisconsin’s People’s Party. At a time when many African Americans felt allegiance to the Republican Party for its support of abolition, Taylor’s sympathy with the labor cause drew him first to the national Democratic Party and then to an African American party, the newly formed National Liberty Party, which in 1904 named him its presidential candidate. Bruce L. Mouser follows Taylor’s life and career in Arkansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Florida, giving life to a figure representing a generation of African American idealists whose initial post-slavery belief in political and social equality in America gave way to the despair of the Jim Crow decades that followed.
Best Books for Special Interests, selected by the American Association for School Libraries
Best Books for Professional Use, selected by the American Association for School Libraries
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association
Second Place, Biography, Society of Midland Authors
Honorable Mention, Benjamin F. Shambough Award, the State Historical Society of Iowa
Foundations of a Free Societybrings together some of the most knowledgeable Ayn Rand scholars and proponents of her philosophy, as well as notable critics, putting them in conversation with other intellectuals who also see themselves as defenders of capitalism and individual liberty. United by the view that there is something importantly right—though perhaps also much wrong—in Rand’s political philosophy, contributors reflect on her views with the hope of furthering our understandings of what sort of society is best and why. The volume provides a robust elaboration and defense of the foundation of Rand’s political philosophy in the principle that force paralyzes and negates the functioning of reason; it offers an in-depth scholarly discussion of Rand’s view on the nature of individual rights and the role of government in defending them; it deals extensively with the similarities and differences between Rand’s thought and the libertarian tradition (to which she is often assimilated) and objections to her positions arising from this tradition; it explores Rand’s relation to the classical liberal tradition, specifically with regard to her defense of freedom of the intellect; and it discusses her views on the free market, with special attention to the relation between these views and those of the Austrian school of economics.
Zygmunt Bauman University of Minnesota Press, 1989 Library of Congress JC585.B27 1988b | Dewey Decimal 320.011
Freedom: An Unruly History
Annelien De Dijn Harvard University Press, 2020 Library of Congress JC585.D4865 2020 | Dewey Decimal 323.44
The invention of modern freedom—the equating of liberty with restraints on state power—was not the natural outcome of such secular Western trends as the growth of religious tolerance or the creation of market societies. Rather, it was propelled by an antidemocratic backlash following the Atlantic Revolutions.
We tend to think of freedom as something that is best protected by carefully circumscribing the boundaries of legitimate state activity. But who came up with this understanding of freedom, and for what purposes? In a masterful and surprising reappraisal of more than two thousand years of thinking about freedom in the West, Annelien de Dijn argues that we owe our view of freedom not to the liberty lovers of the Age of Revolution but to the enemies of democracy.
The conception of freedom most prevalent today—that it depends on the limitation of state power—is a deliberate and dramatic rupture with long-established ways of thinking about liberty. For centuries people in the West identified freedom not with being left alone by the state but with the ability to exercise control over the way in which they were governed. They had what might best be described as a democratic conception of liberty.
Understanding the long history of freedom underscores how recently it has come to be identified with limited government. It also reveals something crucial about the genealogy of current ways of thinking about freedom. The notion that freedom is best preserved by shrinking the sphere of government was not invented by the revolutionaries of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who created our modern democracies—it was invented by their critics and opponents. Rather than following in the path of the American founders, today’s “big government” antagonists more closely resemble the counterrevolutionaries who tried to undo their work.
This volume of essays is an important introduction to the thought of one of the twentieth century's most significant yet underappreciated philosophers, Richard McKeon. The originator of philosophical pluralism, McKeon made extraordinary contributions to philosophy, to international relations, and to theory-formation in the communication arts, aesthetics, the organization of knowledge, and the practical sciences. This collection, which includes a philosophical autobiography as well as the out-of-print title essay "Freedom and History" and a previously unpublished essay on "Philosophic Semantics and Philosophic Inquiry," is a testimony to the range and systematic power of McKeon's thinking for the social sciences and the humanities.
In Freedom and the End of Reason, Richard L. Velkley offers an influential interpretation of the central issue of Kant’s philosophy and an evaluation of its position within modern philosophy’s larger history. He persuasively argues that the whole of Kantianism—not merely the Second Critique—focuses on a “critique of practical reason” and is a response to a problem that Kant saw as intrinsic to reason itself: the teleological problem of its goodness. Reconstructing the influence of Rousseau on Kant’s thought, Velkley demonstrates that the relationship between speculative philosophy and practical philosophy in Kant is far more intimate than generally has been perceived. By stressing a Rousseau-inspired notion of reason as a provider of practical ends, he is able to offer an unusually complete account of Kant’s idea of moral culture.
Freedom and the Human Person
Richard Velkley Catholic University of America Press, 2007 Library of Congress B824.4.F735 2007 | Dewey Decimal 123.5
The present collection seeks to contribute toward finding that distance by making the tradition of thought more a living reality and not an object of arid analyses. Unlike most collections the present one transcends disciplinary boundaries, as it acknowledges the interconnectedness of philosophical, theological, and political arguments on these themes.
Freedom as Marronage
Neil Roberts University of Chicago Press, 2015 Library of Congress F2191.B55R62 2015 | Dewey Decimal 323.11960729
What is the opposite of freedom? In Freedom as Marronage, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept of marronage—a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Examining this overlooked phenomenon—one of action from slavery and toward freedom—he deepens our understanding of freedom itself and the origin of our political ideals.
Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape in order to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space—that it is a form of perpetual flight. He engages a stunning variety of writers, including Hannah Arendt, W. E. B. Du Bois, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the Rastafari, among others, to develop a compelling lens through which to interpret the quandaries of slavery, freedom, and politics that still confront us today. The result is a sophisticated, interdisciplinary work that unsettles the ways we think about freedom by always casting it in the light of its critical opposite.
Freedom Made Manifest
Peter Joseph Fritz Catholic University of America Press, 2019 Library of Congress BX4705.R287F745 2019 | Dewey Decimal 230.2092
Freedom Made Manifest explicates Rahner’s theology of freedom by elucidating its configuration and sources. Much of its inquiry centers on the fundamental option: each human person’s eternal decision made, paradoxically, in time, as a definitive answer to God’s personally-tailored call to salvation. This idea stems from three principal sources: Catholic conversations with transcendental-idealist philosophy, penitential theology and practice, and Ignatian spirituality. Rahner’s unique redeployment of these sources inflects the fundamental option with theologies of concupiscence, mercy and forgiveness (especially as ecclesially mediated), and devotion to Jesus Christ. Awareness of these inflections can show how Rahner’s theology of freedom may assist in theological reflection on freedom’s susceptibility to injury and trauma.
What kind of freedom, and what kind of individual, has the French Revolutionary tradition sought to propagate? Paul Cohen finds a distinctly French articulation of freedom in the texts and lives of eight renowned cultural critics who lived between the eighteenth century and the present day.
Arranged not according to the lives and times of its protagonists but to the narrative themes and structures they held in common, Cohen’s study discerns a single master narrative of liberty in modern France. He captures these radicals, whose tradition bids them to resist the authority of power structures and public opinion. They denounce bourgeois and utilitarian values, the power of Church and State, and the corrupting influence of everyday politics, and they dream of a revolutionary rupture, a fleeting instant of sometimes violent but always meaningful transgression.
An eloquent and insightful work on French political culture, Freedom's Moment also helps explain how France, even as it has oscillated between political stagnation and crisis, has held onto its faith that liberty, equality, and fraternity remain within its grasp.
Examines the ideas of Rousseau, Robespierre, Stendahl, Michelet, Bergson, Peguy, Sartre, and Foucault.
At the nation's founding, the fundamental principle underlying American government was liberty, and the nation's new government was designed to protect the rights of individuals. The American founders intended to design a government that would protect the rights of its citizens, and at that time the most serious threat to people's rights was government. Thus, the United States government was designed with a constitutionally limited scope to preserve the rights of individuals and limit the powers of government.
The government's activities during two world wars and the Great Depression greatly increased its involvement in people's economic affairs, and by the time of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, the transformation was complete. By the end of the twentieth century, the fundamental principle underlying American government had been transformed to democracy, and public policy was designed to further the will of the majority. The result has been a government that is larger and broader in scope.
From Liberty to Democracy examines American political history using the framework of public choice theory to show how American government grew more democratic, and how this resulted in an increase in the size and scope of government. It should appeal to historians, political scientists, and economists who are interested in the evolution of American government but does not assume any specialized training and can be read by anyone interested in American political history.
Randall G. Holcombe is DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics, Florida State University
The Fruit of Liberty
Nicholas Scott Baker Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress DG738.13.B35 2013 | Dewey Decimal 945.51106
In the middle decades of the sixteenth century, the republican city-state of Florence--birthplace of the Renaissance--failed. In its place the Medici family created a principality, becoming first dukes of Florence and then grand dukes of Tuscany. The Fruit of Liberty examines how this transition occurred from the perspective of the Florentine patricians who had dominated and controlled the republic. The book analyzes the long, slow social and cultural transformations that predated, accompanied, and facilitated the institutional shift from republic to principality, from citizen to subject.
More than a chronological narrative, this analysis covers a wide range of contributing factors to this transition, from attitudes toward officeholding, clothing, the patronage of artists and architects to notions of self, family, and gender. Using a wide variety of sources including private letters, diaries, and art works, Nicholas Baker explores how the language, images, and values of the republic were reconceptualized to aid the shift from citizen to subject. He argues that the creation of Medici principality did not occur by a radical break with the past but with the adoption and adaptation of the political culture of Renaissance republicanism.
In The Gift of Freedom, Mimi Thi Nguyen develops a new understanding of contemporary United States empire and its self-interested claims to provide for others the advantage of human freedom. Bringing together critiques of liberalism with postcolonial approaches to the modern cartography of progress, Nguyen proposes "the gift of freedom" as the name for those forces that avow to reverence aliveness and beauty, and to govern an enlightened humanity, while producing new subjects and actions—such as a grateful refugee, or enduring war—in an age of liberal empire. From the Cold War to the global war on terror, the United States simultaneously promises the gift of freedom through war and violence and administers the debt that follows. Focusing here on the figure of the Vietnamese refugee as the twice-over target of the gift of freedom—first through war, second through refuge—Nguyen suggests that the imposition of debt precludes the subjects of freedom from escaping those colonial histories that deemed them "unfree." To receive the gift of freedom then is to be indebted to empire, perhaps without end.
Following the Balfour Declaration and the British conquest of Palestine (1917–1918), the small Jewish community that lived there wanted to establish an elected assembly as its representative body. The issue that hindered this aim was whether women would be part of it. A group of feminist Zionist women from all over the country created a political party that participated in the elections, even before women’s suffrage was enacted. This unique phenomenon in Mandatory Palestine resulted in the declaration of women’s equal rights in all aspects of life by the newly founded Assembly of Representatives. Margalit Shilo examines the story of these activists to elaborate on a wide range of issues, including the Zionist roots of feminism and nationalism; the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector’s negation of women’s equality; how traditional Jewish concepts of women fashioned rabbinical attitudes on the question of women’s suffrage; and how the fight for women’s suffrage spread throughout the country. Using current gender theories, Shilo compares the Zionist suffrage struggle to contemporaneous struggles across the globe, and connects this nearly forgotten episode, absent from Israeli historiography, with the present situation of Israeli women. This rich analysis of women’s right to vote within this specific setting will appeal to scholars and students of Israel studies, and to feminist and social historians interested in how contexts change the ways in which activism is perceived and occurs.
In Hegel's Critique of Liberalism, Steven B. Smith examines Hegel's critique of rights-based liberalism and its relevance to contemporary political concerns. Smith argues that Hegel reformulated classic liberalism, preserving what was of value while rendering it more attentive to the dynamics of human history and the developmental structure of the moral personality. Hegel's goal, Smith suggests, was to find a way of incorporating both the ancient emphasis on the dignity and even architectonic character of political life with the modern concern for freedom, rights, and mutual recognition. Smith's insightful analysis reveals Hegel's relevance not only to contemporary political philosophers concerned with normative issues of liberal theory but also to political scientists who have urged a revival of the state as a central concept of political inquiry.
Amartya Sen Harvard University Press, 1992 Library of Congress JC575.S45 1992 | Dewey Decimal 320.011
The noted economist and philosopher Amartya Sen argues that the dictum “all people are created equal” serves largely to deflect attention from the fact that we differ in age, gender, talents, and physical abilities as well as in material advantages and social background. He argues for concentrating on higher and more basic values: individual capabilities and freedom to achieve objectives. By concentrating on the equity and efficiency of social arrangements in promoting freedoms and capabilities of individuals, Sen adds an important new angle to arguments about such vital issues as gender inequalities, welfare policies, affirmative action, and public provision of health care and education.
In this uniquely interdisciplinary work, Lisa Lowe examines the relationships between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth- centuries, exploring the links between colonialism, slavery, imperial trades and Western liberalism. Reading across archives, canons, and continents, Lowe connects the liberal narrative of freedom overcoming slavery to the expansion of Anglo-American empire, observing that abstract promises of freedom often obscure their embeddedness within colonial conditions. Race and social difference, Lowe contends, are enduring remainders of colonial processes through which “the human” is universalized and “freed” by liberal forms, while the peoples who create the conditions of possibility for that freedom are assimilated or forgotten. Analyzing the archive of liberalism alongside the colonial state archives from which it has been separated, Lowe offers new methods for interpreting the past, examining events well documented in archives, and those matters absent, whether actively suppressed or merely deemed insignificant. Lowe invents a mode of reading intimately, which defies accepted national boundaries and disrupts given chronologies, complicating our conceptions of history, politics, economics, and culture, and ultimately, knowledge itself.
This history of Alabama's coal miners documents the struggle not
only between labor and management but also between interracial unionism
and white supremacy.
Much of Alabama's labor history is written in its coal
fields. This book records the critical contribution that District 20 of
the United Mine Workers of America played in the state's labor movement
through its strong stands on such issues as child labor, public education,
and inter-racial unions.
Standing at the cutting edge of social and political
history, these essays cover five periods over a century of union activity:
the emergence of a militant labor force during mining's formative years;
the World War I era, when mine operators tried to divide black and white
labor; the increasing role of the state in labor relations during the interwar
years; rapid changes in the union between 1942 and 1975; and the 1977-79
strike, the largest in the United Mine Workers' history.
photographs and depictions of living and working conditions, contributors
Edwin L. Brown, Colin J. Davis, Daniel Letwin, Brian M. Kelly, Peter Alexander,
Glenn Feldman, and Robert H. Woodrum portray the world that miners, both
black and white, made. In a state where racial segregation was the norm,
even the earliest District 20 contract proposals demanded equal pay for
equal work regardless of color. It Is Union and Liberty shows that the
UMW in Alabama stands apart from perceptions of southern trade unionism
as exclusionary and racially fragmented. It sheds light on an important
segment of the state's labor history and is a testament to District 20
on its centennial celebration.
Edwin Brown is Associate
Professor in the Center for Labor Education and Research and Colin Davis is Associate Professor in the Department of History, both at
the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
In addition to “On Liberty” and “On Representative Government,” this new selection of Mill’s writings includes, among others, a number of less known of his writings, such as: “Civilization,” “Perfectibility,” “The Negro Question,” “On Education,” “On Aristocracy,” “On Marriage,” “On Free Press,” “Socialism,” Mill’s review of Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” his letters to Tocqueville, and several other writings.
If one can use a somewhat exaggerated language, Mill’s writings are to liberal-democracy what Marx and Engels’ writings were to Communism. Both systems gave expression to 19th century man’s longing for equality and justice, both promised to liberate him from the shackles of oppression, authority and tradition. Instead of liberating man, Communism created the most brutal system in human history, and its spectacular fall in 1989 is one of history’s greatest events. Western world today shows that liberal-democracy is no longer a benign doctrine, which advocates free market, minimum state and individual liberties, but, like Communism, is an all-encompassing ideology which forces an individual to abdicate his freedom and soul in favor of a Communist-like collective.
As many critics of real Socialism could see the seeds of totalitarianism in the writings of Marx and Engels, so one can see the seeds of liberal totalitarianism in Mill’s writings. This new edition is intended to help readers to understand why democratic-liberalism came so close to its 19th century ideological rival.
The political and economic turmoil that followed our most recent financial crisis has sparked a huge resurgence of interest in the work of Karl Polanyi (1886–1964), famous anthropologist, economist, and social philosopher. Polanyi’s 1944 masterpiece, The Great Transformation, spoke of dangerous increasing dominance of the market and the resulting counter-movements, a prediction that has been borne out by current international grassroots resistance to austerity, alienation, and environmental upheaval of our world.
In Karl Polanyi’s Vision of a Socialist Transformation, German social and economic philosophers Michael Brie and Claus Thomasberger bring together central figures in in the field—including Gareth Dale, Nancy Fraser, and Kari Polanyi Levitt—to provide an essential anthology on the contemporary importance of Polanyi’s thought. This book is centered around Polanyi's ideas on freedom and community in a complex socialist society based on a completely transformed economy. It also includes five 1920s essays by Polanyi recently discovered in the Montreal Polanyi archive and translated into English for the first time, including his lecture “On Freedom”, which is central to his unique understanding of socialism.
Following the death of Emiliano Zapata in 1919, the Zapatistas continued to lead the struggle for land reform. Land, Liberty, and Water offers a political and environmental history of the aftermath of the 1910 Mexican Revolution by examining the outcomes of the insurgency in the state of Morelos.
Salvador Salinas takes readers inside the diverse pueblos of the former Zapatistas during the 1920s and 1930s and recounts the first statewide land reform carried out in postrevolutionary Mexico. Based on extensive archival research, he reveals how an alliance with the national government that began in 1920 stimulated the revival of rural communities after ten years of warfare and helped once-landless villagers reclaim Morelos’s valley soils, forested mountains, and abundant irrigation waters.
During the presidency of Plutarco Elías Calles (1924–1928), pueblos forged closer ties to the centralized government in Mexico City through a plethora of new national institutions, such as ejidos, forestry cooperatives, water juntas, credit societies, and primary schools. At the same time, the expansion of charcoal production in the Sierra de Ajusco and rice cultivation in the lowland valleys accelerated deforestation and intensified water conflicts.
Salinas recounts how the federal reforms embraced by the countryside aided the revival of the pueblos, and in return, villagers repeatedly came to the defense of an embattled national regime. Salinas gives readers interested in modern Mexico, the Zapatista revolution, and environmental history a deeply researched analysis of the outcomes of the nation’s most famous revolutionary insurgency.
In these essays J. Willard Hurst shows the correlation between the conception of individual freedom and the application of law in the nineteenth-century United States—how individuals sought to use law to increase both their personal freedom and their opportunities for personal growth. These essays in jurisprudence and legal history are also a contribution to the study of social and intellectual history in the United States, to political science, and to economics as it concerns the role of public policy in our economy. The nonlawyer will find in them demonstration of how "technicalities" express deep issues of social values.
This volume represents the first section of F. A. Hayek's comprehensive three-part study of the relations between law and liberty. Rules and Order constructs the framework necessary for a critical analysis of prevailing theories of justice and of the conditions which a constitution securing personal liberty would have to satisfy.
Incisive, straightforward, and eloquent, this third and concluding volume of F. A. Hayek's comprehensive assessment of the basic political principles which order and sustain free societies contains the clearest and most uncompromising exposition of the political philosophy of one of the world's foremost economists.
Roger Douglas compares responses to terrorism by five liberal democracies—the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—over the past 15 years. He examines each nation’s development and implementation of counterterrorism law, specifically in the areas of information-gathering, the definition of terrorist offenses, due process for the accused, detention, and torture and other forms of coercive questioning.
Douglas finds that terrorist attacks elicit pressures for quick responses, often allowing national governments to accrue additional powers. But emergencies are neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for such laws, which may persist even after fears have eased. He argues that responses are influenced by both institutional interests and prior beliefs, and complicated when the exigencies of office and beliefs point in different directions. He also argues that citizens are wary of government’s impingement on civil liberties and that courts exercise their capacity to restrain the legislative and executive branches. Douglas concludes that the worst antiterror excesses have taken place outside of the law rather than within, and that the legacy of 9/11 includes both laws that expand government powers and judicial decisions that limit those very powers.
True religious faith cannot be confirmed by any external proofs. Rather, it is founded on a basic act of trust—and the common root of that trust, for Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, is a belief in the divine creation of the universe. But with Learning to Trust in Freedom, David B. Burrell asks the provocative question: How do we reach that belief, and what is it about the universe that could possibly testify to its divine origins? Even St. Augustine, he points out, could only find faith after a harrowing journey through the lures of desire—and it is that very desire that Burrell seizes on as a tool with which to explore the origin and purpose of the world. Delving deep into the intertwinings of desire and faith, and drawing on St. John of the Cross, Edith Stein, and Charles Taylor, Burrell offers a new understanding of free will, trust, and perception.
The economist and historian Deirdre Nansen McCloskey has been best known recently for her Bourgeois Era trilogy, a vigorous defense, unrivaled in scope, of commercially tested betterment. Its massive volumes, The Bourgeois Virtues, Bourgeois Dignity, and Bourgeois Equality, solve Adam Smith’s puzzle of the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, and of the moral sentiments of modernity. The world got rich, she argues, not chiefly by material causes but by an idea and a sentiment, a new admiration for the middle class and its egalitarian liberalism.
For readers looking for a distillation of McCloskey’s magisterial work, Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich is what you’ve been waiting for. In this lively volume, McCloskey and the economist and journalist Carden bring together the trilogy’s key ideas and its most provocative arguments. The rise of the west, and now the rest, is the story of the rise of ordinary people to a dignity and liberty inspiring them to have a go. The outcome was an explosion of innovation after 1800, and a rise of real income by an astounding 3,000 percent. The Great Enrichment, well beyond the conventional Industrial Revolution, did not, McCloskey and Carden show, come from the usual suspects, capital accumulation or class struggle. It came from the idea of economic liberty in Holland and the Anglosphere, then Sweden and Japan, then Italy and Israel and China and India, an idea that bids fair in the next few generations to raise up the wretched of the earth. The original shift to liberalism arose from 1517 to 1789 from theological and political revolutions in northwest Europe, upending ancient hierarchies. McCloskey and Carden contend further that liberalism and “innovism” made us better humans as well as richer ones. Not matter but ideas. Not corruption but improvement.
Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich draws in entertaining fashion on history, economics, literature, philosophy, and popular culture, from growth theory to the Simpsons. It is the perfect introduction for a broad audience to McCloskey’s influential explanation of how we got rich. At a time when confidence in the economic system is under challenge, the book mounts an optimistic and persuasive defense of liberal innovism, and of the modern world it has wrought.
From the congressional debate over the “fall of China” to the drama of the Army–McCarthy hearings to the kitchen faceoff between Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev, the political history of the early Cold War was long dominated by studies of presidential administrations, anticommunism, and foreign policy. In Liberty and Justice for All? a group of distinguished historians representing a variety of disciplinary perspectives—social history, cultural history, intellectual history, labor history, urban history, women’s history, African American studies, and media studies—expand on the political history of the early Cold War by rethinking the relationship between politics and culture. How, for example, did folk music help to keep movement culture alive throughout the 1950s? How did the new medium of television change fundamental assumptions about politics and the electorate? How did American experiences with religion in the 1950s strengthen the separation of church and state? How did race, class, and gender influence the relationship between citizens and the state? These are just some of the questions addressed in this wide-ranging set of essays. In addition to volume editor Kathleen G. Donohue, contributors include Howard Brick, Kari Frederickson, Andrea Friedman, David Greenberg, Grace Elizabeth Hale, Jennifer Klein, Laura McEnaney, Kevin M. Schultz, Jason Scott Smith, Landon R. Y. Storrs, and Jessica Weiss.
Liberty and Law
Brian Tierney Catholic University of America Press, 2014 Library of Congress K445.T545 2014 | Dewey Decimal 340.112
Liberty and Law examines a previously underappreciated theme in legal history - the idea of permissive natural law. The idea is mentioned only peripherally, if at all, in modern histories of natural law. Yet it engaged the attention of jurists, philosophers, and theologians over a long period and formed an integral part of their teachings. This ensured that natural law was not conceived of as merely a set of commands and prohibitions that restricted human conduct, but also as affirming a realm of human freedom, understood as both freedom from subjection and freedom of choice. Freedom can be used in many ways, and throughout the whole period from 1100 to 1800 the idea of permissive natural law was deployed for various purposes in response to different problems that arose. It was frequently invoked to explain the origin of private property and the beginnings of civil government.
French philosopher Charles Renouvier played an influential role in reviving philosophy in France after it was proscribed during the Second Empire. Drawn to the ideals of the French Revolution, Renouvier came to recognize that the free will and civil liberties he supported were essential to the pursuit of science, contrary to the ideologies of positivists and socialists who would restrict liberty in the name of science. He struggled against monarchy and religious authority in the period up through 1848 and defended a liberal, secular form of political organization at a critical turning point in French history, the beginning of the Third Republic. As Warren Schmaus argues, Renouvier’s work provides an example of one way in which philosophy of science can succeed in bringing about change in political life—by critiquing political ideologies that falsely claim absolute certainty on religious, scientific, or any other grounds. Liberty and the Pursuit of Knowledge explores the understudied relationship between Renouvier’s philosophy of science and his political philosophy, shedding new light on the significance of his thought for the history of philosophy.
Liberty, equality, and justice have long been treasured in American culture as core values. In Liberty, Equality, and Justice, Ross Evans Paulson studies social and intellectual changes in a critical period of American history—from the end of the Civil War to the early days of the Depression—and argues that attempts to achieve civil rights, women’s rights, and the regulation of business faltered because so many Americans ranked liberty for themselves higher than equality with others and justice for all. Surveying a crucial period in the formation of the modern state and society, Paulson examines the prevailing conflicts of the time and the limitations of various attempts to institute reform, radical change, or ritualistic renewal of American society. His reading of existing scholarship highlights contested social constructs, clashing priorities, changing meanings of key terms, and shifting institutional dynamics in light of their contributions to a complex tragedy in which all parties fell short of the demands for democratic mutuality. Along with discussions of the movements and manipulations of presidential, congressional, and judicial politics, he integrates the experiences of diverse populations—including African Americans, women, Asian immigrants, Native Americans, and working people—and offers a new interpretation of the ways in which social change and political events interact to reframe the many possibilities of American society.
With great energy and clarity, Sir James Fitzjames Stephen (1829-1894), author of History of the Criminal Law of England, and judge of the High Court from 1879-91, challenges John Stuart Mill's On Liberty and On Utilitarianism, arguing that Mill's view of humanity is sentimental and utopian.
"His writing is strong meat—full of the threat of hellfrire, the virtue of government by the lash and a fervent belief that the state cannot remain neutral but has a duty to espouse a moral code."—Roderick Munday, Cambridge Law Journal
The Mummers Parade is like no other parade in the world. With 10,00 wildly-costumed participants stepping out every New Year's Day in South Philadelphia, it is one of the most spectacular annual parades in the U.S. This remarkable book is a "family portrait" of the parade. It presents, in pictures and in words, the flamboyantly-attired Mummers and reveals the everyday, working-class people beneath the outrageous garb.
Noted photographer E. A. Kennedy spent four years documenting the Mummers and their parade. He has personally selected the striking images included here -- more than 150 in all -- and he has written an engaging history of the parade itself. As Kennedy explains, and as his photos make clear, "mummery" is a way of life for Mummers, who have deep attachments to their clubs, associations, and brigades.
For all its glitz, the Mummers Parade remains a folk parade. This is the captivating story of the folks behind the parade.
"The Limits of Liberty is concerned mainly with two topics. One is an attempt to construct a new contractarian theory of the state, and the other deals with its legitimate limits. The latter is a matter of great practical importance and is of no small significance from the standpoint of political philosophy."—Scott Gordon, Journal of Political Economy
James Buchanan offers a strikingly innovative approach to a pervasive problem of social philosophy. The problem is one of the classic paradoxes concerning man's freedom in society: in order to protect individual freedom, the state must restrict each person's right to act. Employing the techniques of modern economic analysis, Professor Buchanan reveals the conceptual basis of an individual's social rights by examining the evolution and development of these rights out of presocial conditions.
Loyalty and Liberty offers the first comprehensive account of the politics of countersubversion in the United States prior to the McCarthy era. Alex Goodall traces the course of American countersubversion over the first half of the twentieth century, culminating in the rise of McCarthyism and the Cold War. This sweeping study explores how antisubversive fervor was dampened in the 1920s in response to the excesses of World War I, transformed by the politics of antifascism in the Depression era, and rekindled in opposition to Roosevelt's ambitious New Deal policies in the later 1930s and 1940s. Varied interest groups such as business tycoons, Christian denominations, and Southern Democrats as well as the federal government pursued their own courses, which alternately converged and diverged, eventually consolidating into the form they would keep during the Cold War.
Rigorous in its scholarship yet accessible to a wide audience, Goodall's masterful study shows how the opposition to radicalism became a defining ideological question of American life.
Machiavelli on Liberty and Conflict
Edited by David Johnston, Nadia Urbinati, and Camila Vergara University of Chicago Press, 2017 Library of Congress JC143.M4M3225 2017 | Dewey Decimal 320.011
More than five hundred years after Machiavelli wrote The Prince, his landmark treatise on the pragmatic application of power remains a pivot point for debates on political thought. While scholars continue to investigate interpretations of The Prince in different contexts throughout history, from the Renaissance to the Risorgimento and Italian unification, other fruitful lines of research explore how Machiavelli’s ideas about power and leadership can further our understanding of contemporary political circumstances.
With Machiavelli on Liberty and Conflict, David Johnston, Nadia Urbinati, and Camila Vergara have brought together the most recent research on The Prince, with contributions from many of the leading scholars of Machiavelli, including Quentin Skinner, Harvey Mansfield, Erica Benner, John McCormick, and Giovanni Giorgini. Organized into four sections, the book focuses first on Machiavelli’s place in the history of political thought: Is he the last of the ancients or the creator of a new, distinctly modern conception of politics? And what might the answer to this question reveal about the impact of these disparate traditions on the founding of modern political philosophy? The second section contrasts current understandings of Machiavelli’s view of virtues in The Prince. The relationship between political leaders, popular power, and liberty is another perennial problem in studies of Machiavelli, and the third section develops several claims about that relationship. Finally, the fourth section explores the legacy of Machiavelli within the republican tradition of political thought and his relevance to enduring political issues.
We live within political systems that increasingly seek to control movement, organized around both the desire and ability to determine who is permitted to enter what sorts of spaces, from gated communities to nation-states. In Movement and the Ordering of Freedom, Hagar Kotef examines the roles of mobility and immobility in the history of political thought and the structuring of political spaces. Ranging from the writings of Locke, Hobbes, and Mill to the sophisticated technologies of control that circumscribe the lives of Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank, this book shows how concepts of freedom, security, and violence take form and find justification via “regimes of movement.” Kotef traces contemporary structures of global (im)mobility and resistance to the schism in liberal political theory, which embodied the idea of “liberty” in movement while simultaneously regulating mobility according to a racial, classed, and gendered matrix of exclusions.
The Civil War divided New Jersey just as it did the nation. As a small state sandwiched between two large and powerful neighbors, New Jersey had always enthusiastically supported the creation of a strong central government. On the other hand, many New Jersey citizens did not share the anti-slavery sentiments of the North; they supported property rights of slave owners and believed in the natural inferiority of blacks. Subsequently, when southern states began to secede from the Union to form the Confederacy, New Jerseyans were left divided and confused.
William J. Jackson examines the ironies, paradoxes, and contradictions that characterized New Jersey's unique historical role in the war. This is the only book to incorporate social and political history with that of military history and strategy. Civil War aficionados and historians will also welcome Jackson's analysis of the participation of New Jersey African Americans on the home front and in the military.
As a philosopher, Richard McKeon spent his career developing Pragmatism in a new key, specifically by tracing the ways in which philosophic problems arise in fields other than philosophy—across the natural and social sciences and aesthetics—and showed the ways in which any problem, pushed back to its beginning or taken to its end, is a philosophic problem. The roots of this book, On Knowing—The Social Sciences, are traced to McKeon’s classes where he blended philosophy with physics, ethics, politics, history, and aesthetics.
This volume—the second in a series—leaves behind natural science themes to embrace freedom, power, and history, which, McKeon argues, lay out the whole field of human action. The authors McKeon considers—Hobbes, Machiavelli, Spinoza, Kant, and J. S. Mill—show brilliantly how philosophic methods work in action, via analyses that do not merely reduce or deconstruct meaning, but enhance those texts by reconnecting them to the active history of philosophy and to problems of ethics, politics, and history. The waves of modernism and post-modernism are receding. Philosophic pluralism is now available, fully formulated, in McKeon’s work, spreading from the humanities to the social sciences.
Rolf Sartorius, Editor University of Minnesota Press, 1984 Library of Congress JC571.P3 1983 | Dewey Decimal 320.512
Paternalism was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Over a hundred years of controversy have established that the antipaternalistic principle so passionately argued by Mill in On Liberty is anything but simple. There are difficulties in interpreting the principle, in reconciling it with Mill's general utilitarian position, and defending it under any particular interpretation. The fourteen essays collected in Paternalism represent the shape philosophical discussions have taken in the past decade and include the classical contemporary statements as well as important new work. This book will provide philosophers, policymakers, doctors, lawyers, and students with all the major arguments that are part of the current controversy.
Poetic Interaction presents an original approach to the history of philosophy in order to elaborate a fresh theory that accounts for the place freedom in the Western philosophical tradition. In his thorough analysis of the aesthetic theories of Hegel, Heidegger, and Kant, John McCumber shows that the interactionist perspective recently put forth by Jürgen Habermas was in fact already present in some form in the German Enlightenment and in Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenology. McCumber's historical placement of the interactionist perspective runs counter to both Habermas's own views and to those of scholars who would locate the origin of these developments in American pragmatism. From the metaphysical approaches of Plato and Aristotle to the interactionist approaches of Habermas and Albrecht Wellmer, McCumber provides an original narrative of the history of philosophy that focuses on the ways that each thinker has formulated the relationships between language, truth, and freedom. Finally, McCumber presents his critical demarcation of various forms of freedom to reveal that the interactionist approach has to be expanded and enlarged to include all that is understood by "poetic interaction." For McCumber, freedom is inherently pluralistic. Poetic Interaction will be invaluable to political philosophers, historians of philosophy, philosophers of language, and scholars of legal criticism.
A fascinating collection of studies, The Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays explores the historical and theoretical underpinnings of personal liberty and free government and provides a trenchant analysis of the crisis of civic consciousness endangering both of them today. The book addresses a range of issues in contemporary political philosophy and constitutional theory. These are seen to be all the more urgent in importance because of the surging aspirations for liberty in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet empire and the post-Cold War anomaly of crisis, malaise, and disarray in free government itself in America and in other bastions of modern democracy.
While each essay can stand alone, there is an underlying thematic unity to the collection. The fundamental problem considered throughout is whether and to what extent the fall of communism may mark an epoch in world history. These questions are applied to the East Central European nations struggling to achieve free government and personal liberty. The elements required to identify the preconditions of liberty are addressed and specific attention is given to the terms of institutionalization in the American founding.
Several essays focus on American political thought, with emphasis on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Two elements, in particular, are treated: the jurisprudential and common law background to the American political tradition and the centrality of religion within the unfolding of the American political experiment. Sandoz explores the uncommon alliance of philosophers, statesmen, and evangelists during the nation's founding. This alliance, nurturing communities of persons bound together by their faith and a mutual regard for one another, played a vital role in the establishment of the system of freedom under law.
Sandoz sees the tension between religion and natural law as a constant in the human struggle for freedom. That the preservation of liberty under law is no easy task is acknowledged and addressed as it can be seen in the American founding, in the post-communist struggle of East Central Europe, and in the deepening contemporary crisis of American society. Anyone interested in the "politics" of "truth" will appreciate this volume.
The United States is among the wealthiest nations in the world. But that wealth hasn't translated to a higher life expectancy, an area where the United States still ranks thirty-eighth—behind Cuba, Chile, Costa Rica, and Greece, among many others. Some fault the absence of universal health care or the persistence of social inequalities. Others blame unhealthy lifestyles. But these emphases on present-day behaviors and policies miss a much more fundamental determinant of societal health: the state.
Werner Troesken looks at the history of the United States with a focus on three diseases—smallpox, typhoid fever, and yellow fever—to show how constitutional rules and provisions that promoted individual liberty and economic prosperity also influenced, for good and for bad, the country’s ability to eradicate infectious disease. Ranging from federalism under the Commerce Clause to the Contract Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment, Troesken argues persuasively that many institutions intended to promote desirable political or economic outcomes also hindered the provision of public health. We are unhealthy, in other words, at least in part because our political and legal institutions function well. Offering a compelling new perspective, The Pox of Liberty challenges many traditional claims that infectious diseases are inexorable forces in human history, beyond the control of individual actors or the state, revealing them instead to be the result of public and private choices.
The fledgling United States fought a war to achieve independence from Britain, but as John Adams said, the real revolution occurred “in the minds and hearts of the people” before the armed conflict ever began. Putting the practices of communication at the center of this intellectual revolution, Protocols of Liberty shows how American patriots—the Whigs—used new forms of communication to challenge British authority before any shots were fired at Lexington and Concord.
To understand the triumph of the Whigs over the Brit-friendly Tories, William B. Warner argues that it is essential to understand the communication systems that shaped pre-Revolution events in the background. He explains the shift in power by tracing the invention of a new political agency, the Committee of Correspondence; the development of a new genre for political expression, the popular declaration; and the emergence of networks for collective political action, with the Continental Congress at its center. From the establishment of town meetings to the creation of a new postal system and, finally, the Declaration of Independence, Protocols of Liberty reveals that communication innovations contributed decisively to nation-building and continued to be key tools in later American political movements, like abolition and women’s suffrage, to oppose local custom and state law.
Heidegger's lectures delivered at the University of Freiburg in 1936 on Schelling's Treatise On Human Freedom came at a crucial turning point in Heidegger's development. He had just begun his study to work out the term “Ereignis.” Heidegger's interpretation of Schelling's work reveals a dimension of his thinking which has never been previously published in English.
While Schelling's philosophy is less known than that of the other major German Idealists, Fichte and Hegel, he is one of the thinker with whom Heidegger has the most affinity, making this study fruitful for an understanding of both philosophers. Heidegger's interpretation of On Human Freedom is the most straightforward of the studies to have appeared in English on the Treatise, and is the only work that is devoted to Schelling in Heidegger's corpus. The basic problems at stake in Schelling's Treatise lie at the very heart of the idealist tradition: the question of the compatibility of the system and individual freedom, the questions of pantheism and the justification of evil. Schelling was the first thinker in the rationalist-idealist tradition to grapple seriously with the problem of evil.
These are the great questions of the philosophical tradition. They lead Schelling and, with him, Heidegger, to possibilities that come very close to the boundaries of the idealist tradition. For example, Schelling's concept of the “groundless”--what reason can no longer ground and explain--points back to Jacob Boehme and indirectly forward to the direction of Heidegger's own inquiry into “Being.” Heidegger's reading of Schelling, especially of the topics of evil and freedom, clearly shows Schelling's influence on Heidegger's views.
Right now, parents suffer sleepless nights worrying that they will lose their jobs, their homes, and their hopes for their children. Citizens struggle to make sense of an increasingly perverse society disdainful of—and destructive to—the traditional culture of faith, truth, virtue, and beauty. Government—under both parties—has swollen to grotesque proportions, racked up staggering debt, and become a threat to Americans’ freedom.
In the aftermath of a historic election, fueled by citizens willing to stand against a government seemingly aligned against them, U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter makes a spirited cry for sanity in a chaotic age. Seize Freedom! boldly confronts the quartet of generational challenges that too many leaders ignore or belittle, and charts the path of truth and renewal for America.
So many of our problems, the author shows, have been exacerbated by ideology, which John Adams aptly called the “science of idiocy.” With incisive thought and wicked humor McCotter attacks the idiocy that pervades Washington. He wisely calls for ridding ourselves of ideology as the first step to transcending our great challenges, which include:
•The social, economic, and political upheavals of globalization: McCotter points the way to a free, prosperous, and humane twenty-first-century economy
•A world war against evil enemies: Seize Freedom! shows why we are engaged not in a War on Terror but in a War for Freedom
•Communist China as a strategic threat: The author explains how the United States must contain this repressive, expansionist regime
•Moral relativism’s erosion of our self-evident truths: McCotter reveals why faith, family, community, and country remain cornerstones of America’s greatness
In ancient Athens, the patriot Demosthenes pleaded with a prideful and pampered people to confront threats to their liberty: “In God’s name, I beg of you to think. The Athenians refused to listen, falling sway to demagogues who dismissed the dangers. Soon their civilization was crushed.
Seize Freedom! is a guide for those concerned citizens and committed conservatives who wish to put an end to the ideologues’ simplistic solutions and false comforts. Well, that, and for anyone who wants a remedy for the usual ghostwritten claptrap that passes for “policy” or “campaign” books. This book won’t make you happier, but it will make you smarter.
With this book, Richard A. Epstein provides a spirited and systematic defense of classical liberalism against the critiques mounted against it over the past thirty years. One of the most distinguished and provocative legal scholars writing today, Epstein here explains his controversial ideas in what will quickly come to be considered one of his cornerstone works.
He begins by laying out his own vision of the key principles of classical liberalism: respect for the autonomy of the individual, a strong system of private property rights, the voluntary exchange of labor and possessions, and prohibitions against force or fraud. Nonetheless, he not only recognizes but insists that state coercion is crucial to safeguarding these principles of private ordering and supplying the social infrastructure on which they depend. Within this framework, Epstein then shows why limited government is much to be preferred over the modern interventionist welfare state.
Many of the modern attacks on the classical liberal system seek to undermine the moral, conceptual, cognitive, and psychological foundations on which it rests. Epstein rises to this challenge by carefully rebutting each of these objections in turn. For instance, Epstein demonstrates how our inability to judge the preferences of others means we should respect their liberty of choice regarding their own lives. And he points out the flaws in behavioral economic arguments which, overlooking strong evolutionary pressures, claim that individual preferences are unstable and that people are unable to adopt rational means to achieve their own ends. Freedom, Epstein ultimately shows, depends upon a skepticism that rightly shuns making judgments about what is best for individuals, but that also avoids the relativistic trap that all judgments about our political institutions have equal worth.
A brilliant defense of classical liberalism, Skepticism and Freedom will rightly be seen as an intellectual landmark.
Tocqueville’s thesis on the relation between religion and liberty could hardly be timelier. From events in the Middle East and the spread of Islamist violence in the name of religion to the mandated coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the interaction between religion and politics has once again become central to political life. Tocqueville, facing the coming of a new social and political order within the traditional society that was France, faced this relation between politics and religion with freshness and relevance. He was particularly interested in reporting to his French compatriots on how the Americans had successfully resolved what, to many Frenchmen, looked to be an insuperable conflict. His surprising thesis was that the right kind of arrangement—a certain kind of separation of church and state that was not also a complete separation of religion and politics—could be seen in nineteenth century America to be beneficial to both liberty and religion. This volume investigates whether Tocqueville’s depiction was valid for the America he investigated in the 1830s and whether it remains valid today.
This compelling book examines the twentieth-century history of corporate
propaganda as practiced by U.S. businesses and its export to and adoption by other western democracies, chiefly the United Kingdom and Australia.
A volume in the series The History of Communication, edited by Robert W. McChesney and John C. Nerone
Freedom is a fundamental Christian theological category, as much a challenge to construct a new way of seeing oneself and others as it is an announcement of what Christ has already done for us in his death and resurrection. Liberation theology is, most simply, the effort to spell out what such freedom means for Christians in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
This book has as its principle premise the conviction that if we are to construct a North American liberation theology we must begin listening to and understanding Latin American theology not so much as a model to be slavishly followed but as a challenge to our own cultural, political, and even religious assumptions. The focus thus is not so much on the theoretical meaning of Christian freedom but on its practice, and more exactly its praxis, that is to say the dialectic between theory and practice.
After focusing on the creation and development of liberating theological methods and sources and, above all, the revitalization and renewal of structures that will contribute to the development of a liberated and liberating church, Fr. Hennelly ends with an analysis of the most recent and the most important vatican document on liberation theology, The Instruction of Christian Freedom and Liberation, which he sees as an acknowledgement by the universal church that the theme of liberation is central to the meaning of Christian theology.
Thinking Your Way to Freedom is a critical-thinking textbook with a difference. Rather than focusing exclusively on improving college students’ academic achievement, Susan Gardner seeks to dramatically change how students think through issues that are important in their lives beyond school. Gardner created 66 original and entertaining comic strips—featuring her dogs, Diva and Ben—that add a light touch as they encourage intellectual and personal autonomy. Through a clear step-by-step method of practical reasoning, students are taught how to think impartially and how to neutralize invisible biases that limit their freedom of thought and action. With the help of Diva and Ben, readers learn to evaluate the strengths of arguments and to recognize fallacies, all the while avoiding the paralyzing effects of relativism.
Thinking Your Way to Freedom includes the writing of short essays so that students can improve their critical thinking and writing at the same time. A Teacher’s Manual for this book will be available online.
Time and Freedom
Christophe Bouton Northwestern University Press, 2014 Library of Congress BD638.B69513 2014 | Dewey Decimal 115
Christophe Bouton's Time and Freedom addresses the problem of the relationship between time and freedom as a matter of practical philosophy, examining how the individual lives time and how her freedom is effective in time. Bouton first charts the history of modern philosophy's reengagement with the Aristotelian debate about future contingents, beginning with Leibniz. While Kant, Husserl, and their followers would engage time through theories of knowledge, Schopenhauer, Schelling, Kierkegaard, and (later), Heidegger, Sartre, and Levinas applied a phenomenological and existential methodology to time, but faced a problem of the temporality of human freedom. Bouton's is the first major work of its kind since Bergson's Time and Free Will (1889), and Bouton's "mystery of the future," in which the individual has freedom within the shifting bounds dictated by time, charts a new direction.
Between 1750 and 1850 Spanish American politics underwent a dramatic cultural shift as monarchist colonies gave way to independent states based at least nominally on popular sovereignty and republican citizenship. In The Time of Liberty, Peter Guardino explores the participation of subalterns in this grand transformation. He focuses on Mexico, comparing local politics in two parts of Oaxaca: the mestizo, urban Oaxaca City and the rural villages of nearby Villa Alta, where the population was mostly indigenous. Guardino challenges traditional assumptions that poverty and isolation alienated rural peasants from the political process. He shows that peasants and other subalterns were conscious and complex actors in political and ideological struggles and that popular politics played an important role in national politics in the first half of the nineteenth century.
Guardino makes extensive use of archival materials, including judicial transcripts and newspaper accounts, to illuminate the dramatic contrasts between the local politics of the city and of the countryside, describing in detail how both sets of citizens spoke and acted politically. He contends that although it was the elites who initiated the national change to republicanism, the transition took root only when engaged by subalterns. He convincingly argues that various aspects of the new political paradigms found adherents among even some of the most isolated segments of society and that any subsequent failure of electoral politics was due to an absence of pluralism rather than a lack of widespread political participation.
This is a sweeping new interpretation of the national experience, reconceiving key political events from the Revolution to the New Deal. Rana begins by emphasizing that the national founding was first and foremost an experiment in settler colonization. For American settlers, internal self-government involved a unique vision of freedom, which combined direct political participation with economic independence. However, this independence was based on ideas of extensive land ownership which helped to sustain both territorial conquest and the subordination of slaves and native peoples. At the close of the nineteenth century, emerging social movements struggled to liberate the potential of self-rule from these oppressive and exclusionary features. These efforts ultimately collapsed, in large part because white settlers failed to conceive of liberty as a truly universal aspiration. The consequence was the rise of new modes of political authority that presented national and economic security as society’s guiding commitments. Rana contends that the challenge for today’s reformers is to recover a robust notion of independence and participation from the settler experience while finally making it universal.
A vital and timely contribution to the growing scholarship on the political thought of Alain Badiou
Is inattention to questions of race more than just incidental to Alain Badiou’s philosophical system? Universal Emancipation reveals a crucial weakness in the approach to (in)difference in political life of this increasingly influential French thinker. With white nationalist movements on the rise, the tensions between commitments to universal principles and attention to difference and identity are even more pressing.
Elisabeth Paquette’s powerful critical analysis demonstrates that Badiou’s theory of emancipation fails to account for racial and racialized subjects, thus attenuating its utility in thinking about freedom and justice. The crux of the argument relies on a distinction he makes between culture and politics, whereby freedom only pertains to the political and not the cultural. The implications of this distinction become evident when she turns to two examples within Badiou’s theory: the Négritude movement and the Haitian Revolution. According to Badiou’s 2017 book Black, while Négritude is an important cultural movement, it cannot be considered a political movement because Négritude writers and artists were too focused on particularities such as racial identity. Paquette argues that Badiou’s discussion of Négritude mirrors that of Jean-Paul Sartre in his 1948 essay “Black Orpheus” that has been critiqued by leading critical race theorists. Second, prominent Badiou scholar Nick Nesbitt claims that the Haitian Revolution could only be considered political if its adherents had shifted their focus away from race. However, Paquette argues that not only was race a central feature of this revolution but also that the revolution ought to be understood as a political emancipation movement.
Paquette also moves beyond Badiou, drawing on the groundbreaking work of Sylvia Wynter to offer an alternative framework for emancipation. She juxtaposes Badiou’s use of universality as indifference to difference with Wynter’s pluri-conceptual theory of emancipation, emphasizing solidarity over indifference. Paquette then develops her view of a pluri-conceptual theory of emancipation, wherein particular identities, such as race, need not be subtracted from a theory of emancipation.
The 2002 revelation that George Washington kept slaves in his executive mansion at Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park in the 1790s prompted an eight-year controversy about the role of slavery in America's commemorative landscape. When the President's House installation opened in 2010, it became the first federal property to feature a slave memorial.
In Upon the Ruins of Liberty, Roger Aden offers a compelling account that explores the development of this important historic site and how history, space, and public memory intersected with contemporary racial politics. Aden constructs this engrossing tale by drawing on archival material and interviews with principal figures in the controversy-including historian Ed Lawler, site activist Michael Coard, and site designer Emanuel Kelly.
Upon the Ruins of Liberty chronicles the politically-charged efforts to create a fitting tribute to the place where George Washington (and later, John Adams) shaped the presidency while denying freedom to the nine enslaved Africans in his household. From design to execution, the plans prompted advocates to embrace stories informed by race, and address difficulties that included how to handle the results of the site excavation. As such, this landmark project raised concerns and provided lessons about the role of public memory and how places are made to shape the nation's identity.
The principal motif that runs throughout The Virtual Point of Freedom is a confrontation with the discourse of freedom, or, more specifically, the falsely transgressive ideal of a total emancipation that would know no constraints. Far from delineating a supposed “subject of freedom” that would allegedly overcome alienation once and for all, the seven chapters in Chiesa’s book seek to unfold an innovative reading of the dialectical coincidence between dis-alienation and re-alienation in politics, aesthetics, and religion, using psychoanalysis as a privileged critical tool. Topics include Pier Paolo Pasolini’s attack on the visual and biological degeneration of bodies brought about by pleasure-seeking “liberal” consumerism, Giorgio Agamben’s and Slavoj Žižek’s conflicting negotiations with the Christian tradition of “poverty” and “inappropriateness” as potential redemption, and Alain Badiou’s inability to develop a philosophical anthropology that could sustain a coherent politics of emancipation. The book concludes by sketching out the figure of the partisan, a subject who makes it possible to conceive of an intersection between provisional morality and radical politics.