Constant and The Rise of Liberalism
Constant and the Rise of Liberalism
•Context: French revolution and its aftermath
•Question: How should free people govern themselves.
•Liberty of ancients
•Participatory –Greek democracy/perception
•Direct –directly discuss.
•Public liberty –Freedom of community –self government /collective
•Not include “private freedom”
•They would do it themselves
•Greeks thought society as a whole would make decisions
•Dependant on a class of people who did not engage in commerce of even work
•Big decisions were decisions on war.
•*most important thing now is trade –peace that will allow for commerce to take
Liberty of Moderns –Our Perception of Freedom
•Not really “freedom to” more like “freedom from” (Bein Isaiah_
•We are all liberals
•Freedom is individual rather than communal
•All of us driven by commerce and private property instead of a war
Contradiction of Constant
•How to organize human society –Big problems
•Modern liberty is better than ancient liberty and pre-modern despotism.
•We prefer representative oppose to direct government that just leave it to be happy.
•“freedom of the team”
•Commerce contradict with: if we don’t watch after government then the whole thing
will come crashing down have a certain amount of public commitment it will fall
•Everything will be fine if we have limited government and we can pursue commerce
and have individual freedoms
•We cannot surrender our rights to share political power –you have a certain amount
of public commitment it will fall apart.
•Scarcity –people had what they had/ no commerce
•Not geared towards maker/ people lived subsistent lives. / Family life –non market
•Affective orientation –peoples orientation towards emotional displays
•Public expression of emotion was more legit
•Ascriptive roles versus achievements if you are born into a certain position
Political Authority and The State
•What is a state? –there was no destinction
•Feudalism –protection service that uses
•State is an organization –monopoly
•Public administration –The king was the State
•Creation of modern state
•King takes revenue extraction out of nobles hand and it in his retainers
•Taxations and system of personal retainers of King who compete with local lords for
•This becomes modern beurcracies.
Four Genetic Features:
•Individualism –not family or clan
•Proceduralism –rule of law, limited constitutional, bureaucracy
•Markets –economic and political
•Toleration –religious, ethnic, gender –relies on hypocrisy
Liberalism Developmental Stages
•Transformations (revolutionary, evolutionary break from mechanical rules)
•Consolidation –exclude those social elements that threaten new order
•Inclusion –include these elements that if not include with rebel agains new order
•Liberalism is never perfected –always evolving. –new groups always demanding