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Notes from the second lecture

4 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein

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September 20, Political Science
Constant and the Rise of Liberalism (Lecture Two)
Benjamin Constant 1767-1830
Swiss born, French intellectual politician, fervent liberal, Context: French Revolution and
its aftermath.
Question: how should free people govern themselves?
Model Rejected
Constant said that the Greek democracy system was not suitable for the modern world.
Liberty of ancients: There was high participatory in contrast with us, we elect
representatives who know the politics better then us, Greeks had Public not Private
liberty (Im going do what I want and as long as I dont bother anyone public authority has
no right to get in my way),they had freedom of the community self-government.
Dependent upon a class of people who didnt engage in commerce or even work, big
decisions were decisions of war (this is not the kind of society we have anymore; war is not
the most important thing, now its prosperity based on trade and peace).
Liberty of the moderns
the fundamental sense of freedom is freedom from chains, from imprisonment, from
enslavement by others. The rest is extension of this sense or else metaphor.
Isaiah Berlin, Two Concepts of Liberty
be very wary of any degree claiming to achieve the reconciliation of liberty and equality:
it is either a lie or a tyranny.
Berlin. The Hedgehog and The fox
Not so much freedom to as freedom from
Legal protections and limited government (that is our conception of freedom)
www.notesolution.com

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September 20, Political Science Constant and the Rise of Liberalism (Lecture Two) Benjamin Constant 1767-1830 Swiss born, French intellectual politician, fervent liberal, Context: French Revolution and its aftermath. Question: how should free people govern themselves? Model Rejected Constant said that the Greek democracy system was not suitable for the modern world. Liberty of ancients: There was high participatory in contrast with us, we elect representatives who know the politics better then us, Greeks had Public not Private liberty (Im going do what I want and as long as I dont bother anyone public authority has no right to get in my way),they had freedom of the community self-government. Dependent upon a class of people who didnt engage in commerce or even work, big decisions were decisions of war (this is not the kind of society we have anymore; war is not the most important thing, now its prosperity based on trade and peace). Liberty of the moderns the fundamental sense of freedom is freedom from chains, from imprisonment, from enslavement by others. The rest is extension of this sense or else metaphor. Isaiah Berlin, Two Concepts of Liberty be very wary of any degreeclaiming to achieve the reconciliation of liberty and equality: it is either a lie or a tyranny. Berlin. The Hedgehog and The fox Not so much freedom to as freedom from Legal protections and limited government (that is our conception of freedom) www.notesolution.com
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