More on Liberty and Homer: Tacitus, Montesquieu, and Humboldt

As I have discussed before here, there is a way of writing about liberty in a conscious focus on political thought, which finds liberty to be emulated in some respect, going back at least to the first century Roman historian Tacitus. He was referring to the condition of the ancient Britons, within the Roman Empire, … Continue reading More on Liberty and Homer: Tacitus, Montesquieu, and Humboldt

Afternoon Tea: “Magna Carta for the World? The Merchants’ Chapter and Foreign Capital in the Early American Republic”

This Article examines the early modern revival and subtle transformation in what is here called the merchants’ chapter of Magna Carta and then analyzes how lawyers, judges, and government officeholders invoked it in the new American federal courts and in debates over congressional power. In the U.S. Supreme Court in the early 1790s, a British … Continue reading Afternoon Tea: “Magna Carta for the World? The Merchants’ Chapter and Foreign Capital in the Early American Republic”

Why Republican Libertarianism?

Barry Stocker barrystocker@mac.com This text was written for the European Students for Liberty Regional Conference in Istanbul at Boğaziçi University. I did not deliver the paper, but used it to gather thoughts which I then presented in an improvised speech. I Republicanism has been on the rise as a term in political theory debates since … Continue reading Why Republican Libertarianism?

Defending Political Liberty in an Administered World

This is a very rough work in progress continuing on from my recent post on ‘Law, Judgement, Republicanism’. The problems with a free and open political and judicial culture were diagnosed by Max Weber in his discussion of bureaucracy, which itself draws directly and indirectly on various accounts of the problems of bureaucratisation and administration … Continue reading Defending Political Liberty in an Administered World

Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism II

In the last post, I gave some historical background on how the Ottoman state, whether in reformist or repressive mode (or some combination of the two), was on a road, at least from the early nineteenth century, that was very likely to end in a nation-state for the Turks of Anatolia and the Balkan region … Continue reading Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism II

Law, Judgement, Republicanism

Draft material for a joint conference paper/Work in Progress on a long term project This paper comes out of a long term project to work on ideas of liberty in relation to republicanism in political thought, along with issues of law and sovereignty. The paper in question here comes out of collaborative work on questions … Continue reading Law, Judgement, Republicanism

Political Decentralization and Innovation in early modern Europe

My full review of Joel Mokyr’s A Culture of Growth is forthcoming in the Independent Review. Unfortunately, it won’t be out until the Winter 2017 issue is released so here is a preview. Specifically, I want to discuss one of the main themes of the book and my review: the role of political decentralization in … Continue reading Political Decentralization and Innovation in early modern Europe

Classical Liberalism and the Nation State

Barry’s response to my earlier post is another interesting read, yet it is also rather broad brush historical. I think he is erroneous if he claims that ‘it did not occur to classical liberals, on the whole, to question the state system as they knew it’. In fact the founding fathers of classical liberalism, David … Continue reading Classical Liberalism and the Nation State

Reply to ‘Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism’

I write in reply to Edwin van de Haar’s post ‘Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism’, which contains some generous remarks about my social media posts while putting forward a view different from my own about the role of the nation state. Edwin argues that the nation state is foundational to classical liberalism in that post. … Continue reading Reply to ‘Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism’

The Case for the UK staying in the EU

Leaving the European Union would not be a gain for liberty in the United Kingdom. This is true as a matter of general principles and is reinforced by the nature of the Leave campaign which has targeted sections of the population hostile to immigration, open markets, and free trade. Much of the Leave campaigning which … Continue reading The Case for the UK staying in the EU

Liberty and the Novel I (Before Austen)

I’ve been working on Jane Austen and ethics recently. These ethical investigations have overlapped with considerations of politics and liberty, with regard to the progress of such ideas in the early nineteenth century when Austen was writing, along with the immediately preceding and following periods. There is a well known Marxist view of the history … Continue reading Liberty and the Novel I (Before Austen)

Flag Burning, the Bill of Rights, and Leaving America Behind: Fourth of July Special

Yes, the American Revolution was special. It’s not yet uncool to recognize facts. You are entitled to your mistaken and unsupported opinions, however; this is a free country. (Not thanks to you!) First, there were no massacres. It may have been different if Britain had won, I don’t know. The Loyalists were treated harshly in many … Continue reading Flag Burning, the Bill of Rights, and Leaving America Behind: Fourth of July Special