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POL101Y1 LEC03 FALL2012

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Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

 Benjamin Constant 1767-1830, is considered today a conservative, Swiss born, French intellectual and politician. Considered at the time: liberal.  Liberalism: freedom.  At the time of ruling by kings and queens, it was difficult to raise the idea of vote-to-win.  What will freedom actually consist?  Most liberals, including Constant, argued freedom was better characterized as freedom from tyranny.  The United States constitution is precisely designed to prevent ruling from a tyrant.  Model Rejected:  Liberty of ancients: philosophy, freedom consisting in participating in the public life. Freedom was to govern and to be governed.  Direct  “Public” not “private freedom”: the notion of freedom was to be free publicly. The ancients meant the freedom of community, as in self-government. The community shall not be ruled by a monarch.  Freedom is collective  Public liberty is the freedom of community from outside dominators  Private liberty is rights of individuals to pursue their freedoms.   Liberty of Moderns  “the fundamental sense of freedom is freedom from chains, from imprisonment, from enslavement by other. The rest is extension of this sense, or else metaphor. ” Isaiah Berlin  “be very wary of any decree claiming to achieve the reconciliation of liberty and equality: it is either a lie or a tyranny.” --Berlin  Constant meant legal protection, limited government, freedom as in individual rather than communal. All driven by commerce and private property instead of war.  Contradictions of Constant  Modern liberty is better both than ancient liberty and pre-modern despotism  Modern care more a
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