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march 17th

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Political Science
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POLI SCI LECTURE THREE CONSTANT AND LIBERALS - Benjamin Constant (1767 – 1830) o Swiss born, French intellectual o Fervent liberal o Context: French revolution and its aftermath o Question: how should free people govern themselves? o No models to work from - Model rejected o Liberty of ancients: Greece o Participatory: all citizens participated directly in government (free men) o Public not private liberty  Republic was not dominated by another one (such as British colonies)  Discussed things that were of interest to the public o Freedom of the community – self government  Slaves and women took care of things at home so free men could take part in these decisions o Freedom is collective (not individual) o Dependent upon a class of people who didn’t engage in commerce or even work o Big decisions were on war - Liberty of the moderns o Fundamental sense of freedom is freedom from slavery, everything else is an extension of this or a metaphor (freedom from not freedom to) – Isaiah Berlin o Legal protections (“I am free from the government taking my property) o No protection of law in the ancient model o Limited government o Freedom is individual rather than communal o All driven by commerce and private property instead of war  Commerce is more valuable than war  War isn’t as worth it as it used to be since we don’t have the fear of being
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