Liberty in the Modern State

Liberty in the Modern State

Liberty in the Modern State

Liberty in the Modern State

Excerpt

I mean by liberty the absence of restraint upon the existence of those social conditions which, in modern civilization, are the necessary guarantees of individual happiness. I seek to inquire into the terms upon which it is attainable in the Western world, and, more especially, to find those rules of conduct to which political authority must conform if its subjects are, in a genuine sense, to be free.

Already, therefore, I am maintaining a thesis. I am arguing, first, that liberty is essentially an absence of restraint. It implies power to expand, the choice by the individual of his own way of life without imposed prohibitions from without. Men cannot, as Rousseau claimed, be forced into freedom. They do not, as Hegel in-

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