Lectures on the Relation between Law & Public Opinion in England: During the Nineteenth Century

By A. V. Dicey | Go to book overview
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LECTURE VIII
THE PERIOD OF COLLECTIVISM

THIS Lecture deals with two topics: first, the principles of collectivism, as actually exhibited in, and illustrated by English legislation during the later part of the nineteenth century; and, secondly, the general trend of such legislation.


(A) Principles of Collectivism

The fundamental principle which is accepted by every man who leans towards any form of socialism or collectivism, is faith in the benefit to be derived by the mass of the people from the action or intervention of the State even in matters which might be, and often are, left to the uncontrolled management of the persons concerned.

This doctrine involves two assumptions: the one is the denial that laissez faire is in most cases, or even in many cases, a principle of sound legislation; the second is a belief in the benefit of governmental guidance or interference, even when it greatly limits the sphere of individual choice or liberty. These assumptions--the one negative, the other positive--

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