The Past and Future of Freedom

Anthony Quinton

in Of Men and Manners

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199694556
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731938 | DOI:
The Past and Future of Freedom

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This chapter considers the principles to which we can or should appeal in seeking to work out a more satisfactory view of the proper relations of industry, state, and individual. It begins by looking at some matters of historical fact. It then argues that economic freedom has always been the Cinderella of political theory, overshadowed by the two ugly sisters of religion and politics. In a way the fight for economic freedom was won a long time ago. The trouble is that one of the fruits of victory was a kind of industrial development which has made the freedom attained of increasingly reduced value, for all its astonishing transformation of the material conditions of life. The fact that Marx gave a perceptive diagnosis of the disease when it was still not very far advanced should not obscure the fact that his prognosis of its future course was largely mistaken and his therapeutic recommendations, to the extent that they have been followed, have turned out to be repulsively barbarous.

Keywords: economic freedom; political theory; religion; politics; Marx; industrial development

Chapter.  3967 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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