Coordonat de Elias VAVOURAS
Volum IX, Nr. 3 (33), Serie nouă, iunie-august 2021
NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI: THE FOUNDER OF MODERN POLITICAL THOUGHT
From Hobbes and Locke to Machiavelli’s virtù
in the political context of meliorism: popular eucosmia
and the value of moral memory
Abstract : This study identifies a genealogy between Thomas Hobbes’ theory of absolute government and John Locke’s liberal worldview. It traces the seeds of eighteenth century optimistic liberal ideologies (endorsed by thinkers decisively influenced by Locke and Adam Smith) in Hobbes’ pessimistic theories concerning his radical distrust of the capacities of the ‘common man and woman’ to build up democratic commonwealths. Following Christopher Lasch’s path, it proposes a hopeful (or melioristic) view on politics, which (as opposed to the optimism of eighteenth century liberalism) does not propose endless and steady improvement or perfection. It reflects on Machiavelli’s notion of virtù (virtue) that we could think of it in relation to Arendt’s idea of action. The latter points to the ancient Athenian polis or to the American council system of direct democracy. More precisely, virtù stands for eucosmia, which revolves around the importance of memory. In short, virtù refers to the courage and the moral capital that members of a society acquire thanks to the experiences they gain from action.
Keywords: Locke, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Hannah Arendt, classical republicanism, action, meliorism, Christopher Lasch.
The purpose of this study is to juxtapose the anti-democratic ideas endorsed by the pessimistic worldview of Hobbes with the optimism of economic liberalism (deriving from John Locke’s theory of social contract), that is, with the belief in the maximisation of economic expansion which (as many eighteenth century liberals believed) could gradually eradicate poverty and social conflict1. According to William James, pessimism is the state of mind of those who ‘think the salvation of the world impossible’2, of those who see no escape from troubles and injustices3 thanks to the alleged ‘inherited irrationality’ of the ‘common citizen’, and seek to exchange freedom, that is, political participation, with the security promoted by coercive and authoritarian governments. On the other hand, optimism constitutes, a ‘regnant doctrine in European philosophy’ and considers ‘the world’s salvation’ inevitable4. Optimism manifests itself as a form of ‘cheerful fatalism’ and approaches the future with confidence, assuming that certain procedures or political moves will automatically generate prosperity and happiness, claims Christopher Lasch5. Both Hobbes’ pessimism and liberal optimism can be seen as ideological twins. Seemingly at odds with each other they have a good deal in common. Both (liberal) optimists and (Hobbesian) pessimists discourage political participation. In contrast, meliorism (or hope, in Lasch’s terms) stands as a medium between optimism and pessimism; the melioristic weltanschauung ‘treats salvation as neither inevitable nor impossible’6. ‘[I]in the face of the world’s irrefragable hardships’ meliorism rejects the belief in ‘society’s innate, inexorable tendency toward improvement’ (or perfection)7. It values the potential8 of ‘intelligent action’, to use Lasch’s terms9, that is, of political freedom or ‘action’ according to Hannah Arendt10. More precisely, political action presupposes the existence of an open space, of a political realm, referring to the ancient Athenian agora or the Roman res publica, ‘the market-place, or the polis, the political space proper’11. It is the only space where human beings can become political animals, interacting with one another in a continuous dialogue12, exercising the virtue of archein (άρχειν), taking the ‘initiative’, ‘to begin’ ‘to rule’ (archeste – άρχεσθαι) and to be ruled, ‘know[ing] both sides of [political] power’13. Additionally, meliorism and action are associated with the notion of popular eucosmia, which stands for the εὐ (eu) (the ‘good’) and the cosmos, from the Greek word κόσμος (cosmos), translated as ‘the affairs of the ordinary people’. As opposed to Hobbes’ radical distrust of the moral capacities of human beings that has motivated him to embrace absolutism, eucosmia prompts us towards meliorism; it prompts us to view the ‘ordinary citizens’ as potential bearers of common decency. It adopts a positive, a ‘good’ (εὐ), stance towards the ‘common man and woman’ (cosmos), who can acquire the capacity to resist their (potentially existing) natural selfish proclivities through (political) experience and through the constant exercise of memory.
From a different angle, meliorism could be linked to Machiavelli’s14 notion of fortuna represented by the archetype of a goddess symbolising unpredictability, signifying the unforeseeable outcomes of human action. Fortuna controls ‘half our actions, and yet leaves the control of the other half, of little less, to ourselves’15. She brings success or becomes the source of misery and disasters16. Thus, fortuna makes human existence vulnerable. She brings disaster when ‘there is neither barrier not embankment to confine her’, when there is no virtù17, or excellence (arete) according to the Greeks18. We could associate virtù with the experience (memory), the fortitude and the resilience one obtains (in order to combat moral transgression), through the process of political participation (or action, in Arendt’s terms). More to the point, Hobbes likens political authority (from which all political powers and decisions originate) to the ‘great Leviathan’, the ‘Mortall God’ to whom ‘wee owe … our peace and defense’19. However, according to the project of popular eucosmia, the Leviathan is distributed to the ‘common people’. The Biblical symbolism of Hobbes’ Leviathan refers to the Nile River, to the source of life in ancient Egypt, according to Frye20. Consider an allegory that appears in The Bible: God put hooks into Leviathan’s jaw and ‘cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales’, leaving finally Leviathan, and ‘and all the fish of the rivers … thrown into the wilderness’. Leviathan is given ‘for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven’21. Therefore, the catching of the leviathan is ‘followed by the fertilizing of the desert he is thrown into’22. God ‘didst break in pieces the heads of leviathan’ and ‘gavest him to be meat to those that people the desert’23 and to the common people of Israel24. Such as God dispenses Leviathan to the inhabitants of the desert, similarly the project of eucosmia requires the distribution of Leviathan, that is, the dispersal of political power, to the ‘ordinary citizen’ (action). A significant portion influential thinkers of economic liberalism during the eighteenth century (as the second section of this study will explain) have associated the Leviathan not with political power but with the forces of the economy, whose distribution to society (they assumed) would lead to the maximization of well-being and, subsequently, to the dawn of a new social reality of endless progress. The next section casts a critical eye on Hobbes’s and Filmer’s pessimistic and anti-democratic theories, which could be regarded as the primary and genealogical predecessors of the optimistic weltanschauung behind variants of economic liberalism in England and America.
3.1 Pessimism, optimism and hatred for democracy: the absolutist model
In the Leviathan Hobbes calls Plato ‘the best Philosopher of the Greeks’25. He shares Plato’s concerns about the consequences of πλεονεξία (pleonexia), from the Greek πλέον (pleon) and έχω (echo), to desire more than what they already have obtained, in Hobbes’s definition26. As with Plato, «…τὴν πλεονεξίαν ὃ πᾶσα φύσις πέφυκεν διώκειν» (‘…rapacity confers to the natural proclivity of every living being’)27. In Hobbes’ words, pleonexia stands for the ‘perpetuall and restlesse desire of Power after power [that] ceaseth onely in Death’28. It constitutes the ‘generall inclination of all mankind’ (ibid). In the anarchic condition of natural liberty, in the so called State of Nature, where no State and no organised commonwealth, no common power or other artificial body exists in order to coerce and bind human beings together, directing them towards the common benefit, everyone strives to fulfill this (innate) ‘restlesse desire’29 for possession and domination for power, riches, fame, prestige and honour30. In the state of nature, competition for property and power easily escalates into conflict so long as there is no authority to impose justice, repressing aggression (even through extreme coercion), ensuring that possession is acquired through peaceful means. In the state of nature, where ‘every man has a Right to every thing; even to one anothers body’, the ‘condition of Warre of every one against every one’ becomes permanent31. This war cannot be brought to an end since all forms of enmity are perpetual; neither victors (the strongest who survived the battle) can escape the possibility of losing their lives in a potentially forthcoming conflict32.
Hence, in the state of nature, in the state of perfect insecurity where everyone is a potential enemy, human lives become ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’33. Individuals ‘as soon as they arrive to understanding of this hateful condition, do desire (even nature itself compelling them) to be freed from this misery’34. In order to avoid violent death, they form alliances ‘so that if we must have war, it will not be a war against all men nor without aid’35. In exchange for security they seek to relinquish certain liberties and transfer them to an absolute sovereign power, a de facto ruler, contracting thus with each other and forming a state36. Only under this process individuals free themselves from the insecurity of the state of nature, ‘whereof they may be compelled both to keep the peace amongst themselves’37. The laws of nature are preserved only when the multitude appoints one man, or an assembly of men ‘to beare their Person; and every one owne, and acknowledge himselfe to be Author of whatsoever he that so beareth their Persons, shall Act, or Cause to be Acted, in those things which concerne the Common Peace and Safetie; and therein to submit their Will, and their Judgements, to his Judgment’38 Thus, all liberties are passed to the unquestionable statesman/Sovereign – to the only ‘sword’ and soul of the commonwealth39 – who undertakes the task of decision making and, in return, is obliged to take all necessary measures in order to defend public and individual well-being. And this is how the great Leviathan emerges, holding down Behemoth, another Biblical archetype used by Hobbes as a symbol of the proclivity of the revolutionary masses to cause havoc40. Thus, the body whose Salus is Suprema Lex is not the Populus but the Rex (the absolute monarch), who makes all political legislation and asserts the knowledge of what is just for his/her subjects, preventing wrongdoing through force and coercion. Without ‘this gigantic mechanism in the service of ensuring the physical protection of those governed’, human beings are exposed to a condition of self-perpetuating enmity where knowledge, arts and society disappear41. The power of the Sovereign is, however, indisputable; his unchallenged authority safeguards ‘the conditions for commodious living…’42. To resist the Sovereign ‘in defense of another man, guilty or innocent, no man hath Liberty; because such Liberty, takes away from the Sovereign, the means of Protecting us’43.
For Hobbes and Filmer, three common types of sovereignty exist. These are: a) aristocracy – ‘the government of “the better people”‘44, of the better men chosen by the multitude itself, b) democracy, or Popular Common-Wealth, consisting of an assembly of ‘the people’ that must contract with themselves, bound to the decisions of the majority45, and c) monarchy, the will of a single man, coming from the words ‘μόνος and ἀρχεῖν; ἀρχεῖν is imperare, to govern and rule; μόνος signifies one alone’46. As Hobbes states in De Cive (On the Citizen) (1642/1998), monarchy is the most preferred type of commonwealth47, converging thus with the Filmer, who argues about the disastrous consequences of democracy, favouring at the same time a coercive and fatherly royal power, without which love for liberty would lead to anarchy48. Moreover, since monarchy is the most coercive type of sovereignty, it has to be endorsed, especially from the moment the passions of the multitude, of the ‘common people’, can result in more violence than the passions of one man, as Hobbes states in The Elements of Law. ‘The greatest inconvenience that can happen to a commonwealth, is the aptitude to dissolve into civil war; and to this are monarchies much less subject than any other governments’49. As with Filmer, the ‘ordinary citizens … are not led by wisdom to judge of anything, but by violence and by rashness, nor put they any difference between things true and false. After the manner of cattle they follow the herd that goes before’50. Furthermore, deliberations of large assemblies endanger public safety, since they are sources of factions; open assemblies can disclose policies of utmost importance to foreign enemies, policies that only a monarch could keep in absolute secrecy51. The monarch can receive superior counsel, being surrounded by skillful executives. But above all, he/she cannot disagree with himself out of envy or greed (which are innate to all human beings), whilst ‘an Assembly may; and that to such a height, as may produce a Civil Warre’52. The monarch transforms mutual fear of violent death into fear of punishment ‘defined or prescribed by law, as it is laid down in explicit words: he who does this will suffer this, or may be defined in practice, as when a penalty […] is discretionary at first, and then defined by the punishment of the first offender’53. Fear is the only way for the Sovereign to provide security and win the conformity of his subjects; fear subjects everyone to the laws that envisage retribution as a consequence of disobedience in Hobbes’ philosophy54. Fear of punishment, for Hobbes, is the most effective way to uproot once and for all revolutionary ideas from the popular mind; fear removes from the human conscience opinions that justify rebellious actions; this constitutes the highest priority of the Sovereign55.
As we see, Hobbes’s philosophy emphasises ‘the need for some security of the individual, who feels himself menaced by all his fellow-men’56. The individual, ‘[e]xcluded from participation in the management of public affairs that involve all citizens … acquires a new and increased interest in his private life and his personal fate’57. Hobbes’s insistence on privatisation, id est., on the radical withdrawal from the public-political realm into our own individual (private) world (in the name of ‘security’ and ‘protection’ from social chaos and disarray), is probably one of the strongest indicators of anti-democratic thought. As a matter of fact, Hobbes ‘wanted most of all to protect private interests by pretending that, rightly understood, they were the interest of the body politic as well’, claims Arendt58. Or to use his own (2006) words, the private and the public interest ‘are most closely united’59. In a monarchical state, however, which is Hobbes’s most preferred State, ‘the private interest is the same with the publique’60. If (according to Hobbes) the private interest benefits the public, the constant improvement of one’s personal affairs would also benefit the common good and the interests of the entire commonwealth. Hayek’s economic liberalism rests on a similar assertion: individuals by focusing on their own private affairs ‘contribute as much as possible to the needs of all others’61. Therefore, if, as Arendt stressed, ‘Hobbes was the true, though never fully recognized, philosopher of the bourgeoisie’62, this cannot be only attributed to his awareness concerning the ‘acquisition of wealth conceived as a never-ending process’ (ibid) but also to his insistence on individual improvement, which later on became the primary theoretical starting point for eighteenth century liberal economists, such as Adam Smith, who championed the pursuit of private interest that (in his view) ‘frequently promotes [the interest] of the society’63. All these may indicate the existence of a genealogy between the (eighteenth-century Anglo-American) liberal emphasis, according to Patrick Deneen, on the res idiotica (the private concerns) with Hobbes’s absolutist/despotic philosophy64. Macpherson considers Hobbes’s insistence on private improvement (as opposed to political engagement) one of the main principles upon which aspects of Locke’s and Smith’s thought have built their foundations (as I will further explain in the next section)65. Hence, Arendt’s assertion that Hobbes himself was a philosopher who gave ‘an almost complete picture, not of Man but of the bourgeois man’ and that ‘[t]here is hardly a bourgeois moral standard which has not been anticipated by the unequaled magnificence of Hobbes’s logic’66, seems quite plausible. Furthermore, Hobbes’s emphasis on the res idiotica, according to Arendt (1976), deprives friendship and mutuality, encouraging harsh competition: ‘[d]eprived of political rights’, absorbed by his/her private concerns, the individual ‘loses his rightful place in society and his natural connection with his fellowmen’67. He/she judges his/her ‘individual private life only by comparing it with that of others’ while his/her relations with his/her fellow-men ‘inside society take the form of competition’68 Macpherson, while reflecting on Hobbes’s thought, considers private competition another key element that signaled the rise of capitalism and the so-called possessive market society (else called possessive liberalism). The social and political obligations of ‘market men’, he writes, are based on ‘a full appreciation’ of what is ‘most to their own interest, most consistent with their true nature as competitive men’69. In sum, economic (possessive) liberalism and absolutism share principles and ideas that justify hatred for (direct) democracy, namely, the marginalisation of the political realm and the removal of the ‘common people’ from the process of political decision-making. However, before going over outlining the reasons active citizenship could lead to higher standards of common decency than absolutism and/or possessive liberalism, it would be necessary to shed more light on the genealogical links between these (ostensibly opposite) trends. More accurately, it would be vital to lay emphasis on existing convergences between possessive liberalism and Hobbes’s despotic weltanschauung, explaining how the former has subverted the latter’s pessimism into a manifest optimism. Such a process requires rigorous analysis of Locke’s thought, which has been regarded the most practical and humane alternative to Hobbes’ absolutism, according to Neocleous70.
Liberal optimism and possessive individualism
1) Locke contra Hobbes and the liberal genealogy
Locke’s (1988) anti-absolutist philosophy derives from his understanding of the state of nature as the state of perfect freedom, equality and independence (rather than enmity and aggression)71. For Locke, ‘force without Right, upon Man’s Person’, that is, force without a real purpose, ‘makes a State of War’72. Since men in their default position are capable of making rational calculations, extreme and arbitrary force and coercion (that is, force without right and consent) lacks #purpose and justification. In fact, no one can be ‘subjected to the Political Power of another, without his own Consent’73. To make a long story short, government by consent and majority rule are for Locke (as opposed to Hobbes and Filmer) the key elements upon which his Social Contract has been founded74. ‘The Liberty of Man, in Society, is to be under no other Legislative Power, but that established, by consent, in the Common-wealth, nor under the Dominion of any Will’75. Every legislative act that suppresses liberty violates the Social Contract; such acts must be encountered even through the use of physical force (popular rebellions and civil uprisings)76. Thus, ‘it is for the people only to decide whether or when their government trustees have acted contrary to their trust, or their legislative has been changed, and for the people as a whole to act as umpire in any dispute between the governors and a part of their body’77.
Although (in Locke’s mind) human beings in their default position are capable of making rational decisions, at the same time, they are liable to error and deceit. As mentioned earlier, in the anarchic state of nature, in the state of absolute liberty, no organised commonwealth exists; no executive power, no official body, can implement policies in defense of civil peace. Thus, natural liberty leaves everyone exposed to the consequences of the vices of the misjudgments of others and, subsequently, to all forms of aggression. For this reason human beings should ‘enter into Society to make one People, one Body Politik under one Supreme Government’ aiming to preserve their lives and property mutually78. Through these passages we find Locke’s anti-Hobbesian position (concerning the state of nature as the state of perfect freedom and independence) suddenly overturned. Here Locke, for good or ill, seems to have accepted Hobbes’s realism in part, as he associates natural liberty with insecurity, which leaves everyone unprotected from harm and violence. He shares Hobbes’s main fear concerning the state of nature as the state where violent death lurks like a venomous snake hidden in the bushes79. According to Laslett, Locke’s thought did not fully escaped ‘the shadow of the Leviathan’80. Likewise, other liberal thinkers, such as James Mill and the anti-egalitarian Jeremy Bentham, share more profoundly the Hobbesian viewpoint: human beings are power-hungry machines; they strive to maximise their own pleasure without acknowledging moral limits81. For Locke the primary focus of a (liberal) government is civil peace and security of property82. Property is alienable since competition for the same object, claims James Mill (2015), ‘implies the desire of the power necessary to accomplish the object’83. This desire ‘of that power which is necessary to render the persons and properties of human beings subservient to our pleasures is a grand governing law of human nature […] Power … therefore, means security for the conformity between the will of one man and the acts of other men’84.
The most advanced form of security exercised by the State (the Sovereign) is that of prerogative. It assumes ‘nothing, but the Peoples permitting their Rulers, to do several things of their own free choice, where the Law was silent, and sometimes too against the direct Letter of the Law, for publick good’85. Although Locke rejected absolutism arguing that ‘absolute monarchs could violate man’s right to self-preservation, as when a king arbitrarily stripped a subject of his possessions and life’86, his stance on prerogative seems to conflict with his initial stance. Evidently, Locke returns to the Hobbesian position, especially when in the second volume of the Treatises resorts to the usage of the term ‘Leviathan’87. As also Fukuyama argues, ‘Locke agreed with Hobbes that self-preservation was the most fundamental passion’88. Indeed, Locke appears closer ‘to adopting some of Hobbes’s claims and categories rather than refuting them, and we are reminded that in the early 1690s many people suspected Locke of leaning in a Hobbesian direction’89. In short, Lockean liberalism encompasses, on the one hand, the notion liberty and consent while stressing the need for emergency measures (that limit liberty itself) to be implemented by governments once deemed necessary. Such measures, argues Neocleous, could open the back door for the acceptance of all sorts of authoritarian laws, killing off once and for all the same liberty Locke’s theory championed (against despotism)90.
Unlike Hobbes’s and Filmer’s justification of absolute rule as a permanent refuge against the war of all against all, Locke’s ‘authoritarian’ prerogative points to temporary emergency measures, imposed by governments, only under exceptional circumstances. Notwithstanding Locke’s prerogative justifies the use of illiberal means, it is not arbitrary and/or tyrannical. It is exercised (always as a last resort) strictly within the framework of a constitutional order, which serves and protects the rule of law, ‘the legal embodiment of freedom’91. In brief, the rule of law determines how the coercive powers of a state can be used in given circumstances92. It prevents governments ‘from stultifying individual efforts by ad hoc action’ and preserves liberty of each individual to pursue his/her ‘personal ends and desires’93. In this respect, coercion (under the state of prerogative) ‘can be foreseen how it will be used’94 and it must become fully evident such emergency measures are clearly in the interest of people’s liberty and property. Its ultimate objective is a) the effective removal of threats posited by unlawful rebellions, which strive to violently overthrow a government that fully respects the rule of law, and b) the defense of personal safety and security fr`om rampant aggression (large scale crime, terrorism, etc.)95. A government that takes advantage of prerogative, acting contrary to the rule of law, that is, doing ‘what it thinks fit to do’96, is arbitrary and, therefore, illegitimate. In Locke’s weltanschauung (as mentioned earlier), such a government would have violated the Social Contract. Arbitrary rule will not guarantee protection from man’s inherited tendencies towards self-destruction. It is synonymous with oppression, which fuels civil unrest and drags humanity back to the state of war.
To recapitulate: Locke’s theory emphasizes private property, security and coercion (prerogative) on the one hand, while stressing the value of tolerance, popular consent and the right to rebel, on the other. Hence, Locke’s theory does not seem to posit a radical challenge to the absolutism of Hobbes. This is not simply due to his insistence on prerogative but, more importantly, because limited government, constitutionalism, the rule of law and popular consent alone do not entail action and direct involvement in decision-making. Consider, at this stage, the distinction between liberty and freedom. Liberty is ‘[t]he deepest commitment of liberalism’97. It points to ‘the liberty of the individual in possession to do what he liked with himself and with his own’98. Liberty signifies non-interference; ‘[w]hen a person is free in the sense of negative liberty they are exempt from interference in the things they do – exempt from intentional coercion or obstruction’99. Liberty has been ‘won as a result for liberation’100 a) from cultural norms that erect fences against personal ambition101, from the restrictions against individual self-expression imposed by the moral/cultural codes (ethimikon) of the societas civilis102, or b) from absolutism and arbitrary rule103. It is understood ‘in terms of the opposition between liber and servus, citizen and slave’ and ‘is explicated as the status of someone who, unlike the slave, is not subject to the arbitrary power of another’104. Hence, liberty points to the Lockean notion of minimum government (limited by consent). Liberty, according to Arendt, ‘do[es] not tell the whole story of freedom’105, which is equivalent to active citizenship106, being coextensive to the political realm107. Freedom, or in Deneen’s words, ‘the ancient conception of liberty’, the (classical) republican liberty, points to the ‘self-governance of both city and soul, drawing closely together the individual cultivation and practice of virtue and the shared activities of self-legislation’108. ‘Eleutheros, Greek for “free,” derives from the Indo-European †leudh-, meaning “belonging to the people”109. For Arendt, freedom refers to the capacity of moving, of getting away from the private sphere and going out into the world, ‘meet[ing] other people in deed and word’110. A person is free not when he/she compels a government of experts to make decisions that do not violate his/her individual rights but only when the same person is an active member in government. Freedom is the raison d’être of active citizenship111. It points to action; ‘for to be free and to act are the same’112.
According to De Dijn, ‘[t]his democratic conception of freedom’, initially developed in ancient Greeks, ‘was revived in modern times by Renaissance humanists and their pupils, such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Etienne de la Boétie, and Algernon Sidney’ that ‘inspired the American, Dutch, Polish, and French revolutionaries of the late eighteenth century113. The shift to a new understanding of freedom (as liberty) was the consequence of such revolutions that influenced the course of political liberalism114, particularly in the Anglophone world115. Thus, eighteenth-century (Anglo-American) liberalism, and (more importantly) Lockean liberalism (with its utilitarian overtones), conflated liberty (government limited by consent) with freedom (action). For example, John Stuart Mill claimed that ‘[t]he struggle between Liberty and Authority’ was central in ancient Greece116. By the term liberty he implies ‘protection against the tyranny of the political rulers’ while the rulers themselves ‘were conceived (except in some of the popular governments of Greece) as in a necessarily antagonistic position to the people whom they ruled’117. Liberty and freedom originate in the popular governments of the Greek polis and the Roman res publica118. However, the polis was not solely the body of protection against usurpation and/or arbitrary rule. It was the center of action (as aforementioned), the sphere of freedom, which – for Arendt – is a fact of everyday life in the political realm119. Classical liberal theorists (as well as late liberals), anchored to the Lockean tradition of ‘limited government’ and to the Smithian quasi utilitarian weltanschauung, emphasized the need for government to preserve order and liberty, without allowing government to end up a ‘Frankenstein force’ that devours liberty120 They understood freedom solely as ‘absence of coercion of a man by his fellow man’121. Liberalism, in the words of Hayek, ‘does not deny the necessity of coercive power but wishes to limit it – to limit it to those fields where it is indispensable to prevent coercion by others and in order to reduce the total coercion to a minimum’122. In the same way Joseph Townsend argues that although human beings are ‘beasts’, they need no despots but only a minimum of government (quoted by Polanyi)123.
Since, however, in the liberal mind a) Hobbes’ fear of perpetual war (which springs from our innate tendencies toward rapacity and unlimited possession) is widely echoed, b) prerogative is only a temporary measure (and, thereby, no permanent coercive Sovereign exists in order to repress moves that alienate someone’s life and property), and c) the ‘common people’ are not allowed to join forces in order to decide which laws could better preserve decency over rapacity, which force could safeguard human beings from the appetites of fortuna? The main response of eighteenth century economic liberalism to this impasse was the idea of economic progress (or productivism), the constant satisfaction of the insatiable human desire for possession through the unlimited production of goods (as property to be bought) and the constant increase of their availability in the capitalist market. ‘[E]ighteenth-century moralists like Bernard Mandeville, David Hume, and Adam Smith’, writes Lasch, broke decisively ‘with older ways of thinking’, which assumed the limitation of the desire for boundless possession one of the main causes of war and conflict124. For Hayek, eighteenth century economic liberals acclaimed ‘man’s “self-love,” or even his “selfish interests,”‘ as the ultimate ‘“universal mover”, and … by these terms they were referring primarily to a moral attitude, which they thought to be widely prevalent’125. They considered the constant increase of production (in order to gratify these so-called ‘selfish’ desires) and the ‘supply of material comforts’, necessary means for the improvement of the general standards of living126. According to Mandeville, ‘[e]nvy, pride and ambition made human beings want more than they needed, but these “private vices” became “public virtues” by stimulating industry and invention’ (quoted by Lasch)127. Smith and Hume endorsed the principle that ‘a growing desire for material comforts, wrongly taken by republicans as a sign of decadence and impending social collapse’ could generate ‘new wealth’ and ‘a constantly rising level of productivity’128. As I will stress in what follows, economic progress, which the eighteenth century Anglo-American liberal/utilitarian philosophy (profoundly inspired by Locke’s theories) treats as its bedrock value, has threatened action with the pain of disappearance.
2) Optimism and economic progress: the decline of public time
If, according to eighteenth-century economic liberalism, the insatiable desire for possession is an inherent characteristic of human nature129, it follows that once the desire for a certain amount of an object (X) is gratified, a renewed desire for a larger quantity of the same (or a similar) object/property is going to emerge. Yet, those who manage to secure a larger quantity (X2) of the same object through the market, may soon desire an even larger (X3). The expansion of production and, subsequently, the increase of the supply of goods (to be purchased) in the market guarantees the availability of X3 (or of X4, X5, etc.). Eventually, our insatiable desires (desire = rapacity = ∞) are satisfied through the increase ad infinitum of the availability of goods for possession. Thus, a) through the constant (and peaceful) gratification of the desire for acquisition of property, and b) through the endless improvement of the purchasing power of every consumer (for the purpose of acquiring what the same consumer desires), the fear of perpetual war and destruction (due to scarcity), which so intensively haunted (eighteenth-century) economic liberals, is halted. More precisely, if in the capitalist world a belief that the present is in many ways ‘better’ than the past and that the distant future will bring more betterment has been settled into place, this can be partially attributed to the prevalent belief in ‘progress’, in the constant and steady expansion of production130, whose primary objective (according to eighteenth-century economic liberalism) is the immediate gratification of the increasing desire for possession131, and, therefore, to the annihilation of the fear of perpetual war caused by material scarcity. The more the human desire for possession is fulfilled the more the fear of perpetual war dwindles. As mentioned earlier, meliorism does not imply complete annihilation of fear. Instead, it considers fear, loss and tragedy (the consequences of the ferocity and unpredictability of fortuna) sine qua non of human existence. In this respect, economic (possessive) liberalism, with its linear approach on history towards endless progressive improvement with very little possibility of retrogression132, so long as it results in the progressive reduction of the fear of conflict and destruction (caused by scarcity), acquires an optimistic outlook. One could assume that while economic liberalism never ‘rested … on the promise of an ideal society’133, its emphasis on the endless ‘pursuit of wealth’, which ‘fills the vacuum at the heart of Lockean liberalism’134, and its pretension for constant and gradual betterment through productivism showcases optimism, as if history is moving into a steady direction towards the emergence of a brand new age, emancipated from the specter of scarcity and, hence, from the dread of war. Economic liberals, writes Gray, believed that ‘[i]n a global free market … war and tyranny will disappear. Humanity will advance to unprecedented heights’135. Let us shed light, at this stage, on the reasons this emphasis on progress (or optimism) of economic liberalism resulted in the marginalization of political time, on the eclipse of action.
As with Arendt, work and labour are activities associated with the private realm, as opposed to action, which is linked to the political (or public) realm. In other words, labour is associated with affairs that revolve around our personal felicity136. The gradual increase of the demand for production presupposes extensive devotion to labouring and, therefore, excessive devotion to personal time. Consider, for example, the following decreasing functions:
- Labour = personal/private – political time (political and/or public). In short, from a fixed amount of a given daily time, the more one dedicates in work and labour the more the potential availability of his/her time (to be dedicated in other activities) decreases. Let us assume, for instance, that the total amount of one’s waking hours is 15 (17 hours and 2 hour of intermediate breaks are excluded). In the event one decides to dedicate 8 hours in activities involving work or labour, seemingly he has 7 hours available to spend with his/her fellows in the public-political The increase of private time (for work and labour) to 9 hours leads to the shrinkage of public-political time from 7 to 6 hours. To avoid misunderstandings: apart from work and labour, private time may also refer to activities revolving around family (children) and to all sort of activities shielded within the walls of one’s private household. Thus, if one decides to dedicate 8 hours in activities involving work or labour, he has 6 hours to spend not only on public-political activities but also on other personal activities. Likewise, the decrease of the available time to be dedicated in work and labour does not immediately imply ‘more’ public-political time. In general terms, the shrinkage of our public-political time often comes as a consequence of the increase of working and labouring day.
- action = public – personal time. The more time one consumes dealing with issues afflicting the public life the more he/she reduces his/her availability for private time and, more importantly, for work and labor.
To make a long story short, the homo economicus, who withdraws into his/her private sphere, who becomes a cog in the machine of unlimited economic progress and expansion, reduces his/her availability to interact with his/her peers in the public-political realm. In ‘societies of laborers and jobholders’137, labour (or work) ‘has assumed an all-pervading role in modern life’, claims Jacques Ellul138. ‘[M]an works much more nowadays than, for example, in the [early] eighteenth century’, before the Industrial Revolution139, which led to the expansion of the working day, according to Arendt140. Of course ‘[t]hanks to [technology and] automation, the nature of labor and work has fundamentally changed’, and work has become ‘more productive or more efficient, to evoke an economic mantra’141, without constantly demanding expansion of the working day. ‘Wealth accumulates because different technologies either make the usual resources more productive or they create new ave-nues for the extracting of value’142. But on the other hand, despite the decrease of working hours during the nineteenth century, the ‘omnipresence of the duties of … work’ and its intensity ‘make it weigh much more heavily on men today than on men in the past’ claims Ellul143. Modern men and women work ‘more than the slave of long ago’144. In fact, ‘the slave worked only because he was forced to’ whilst modern men and women who believe ‘in freedom and dignity’ invent ‘justifications to make [themselves] work’145. ‘Even the children in a modern nation do an amount of work at school which no child was ever asked to do before the beginning of the nineteenth century’146.
3) Optimism and liberal elitism: the ‘invisible hand’
To recapitulate: unlike the Hobbesian paradigm, which constitutes the domain of politics exclusively the task of one man, the possessive market society eliminates action by expanding private time, emphasising labour and considering economic progress as ‘the alpha and omega of men’s political salvation’147. ‘If the rate of [economic] growth declines’, if the supply of product is reduced, ‘the pacification of the social bonds will be threatened in its very foundation’148. As the markets expand, ‘the sources of human conflict are reduced’149.
To avoid misunderstandings, Locke’s theory of possessive individualism considers capital accumulation ‘morally and expediently rational per se’150 but, on the other hand, it does not encourage selfishness, boundless material abundance, claims Robert Kuttner151. For Hayek (1980), individualism begins with ‘John Locke, and particularly with Bernard Mandeville and David Hume, and achieved full stature for the first time in the work of Josiah Tucker, Adam Ferguson, and Adam Smith’152, ‘to whom nobody will deny the title of individualist’153. ‘[T]he belief that individualism approves and encourages human selfishness is one of the main reasons why so many people dislike it’154. However, Locke’s thought, from its outset. insisted on thrift (ibid). Locke was ‘by no means a consistent utilitarian’155 and knew very well that selfishness, unlimited individual possession and consumption could produce scarcity due to over accumulation of goods in the hands of a minority156. Unlike his predecessors (Mandeville and Hume, for instance), Locke emphasised possessive individualism and unlimited accumulation of land and capital not in order to justify greed and lavishness at the expense of charity and mutual aid. ‘Locke was no theorist of individual license’157. As Fukuyama put it, Locke’s first man strives to ‘open up the possibility of obtaining more without limit’158, not, however, in order to support a theory of individual abundance. The unlimited appropriation and cultivation of land could produce and, hence, supply an increasing number of products in the market, making possession easier even to those who are left without sufficient land159. In addition, the unlimited accumulation of money, as a reward for man’s labour, allows unlimited access to property for those who have no land to cultivate for themselves160. Money ‘would take in exchange for truly useful, but perishable Supports of Life’161. It would save labour ‘from its manifest disgrace of producing only “things of short duration”‘162, things that will spoil and perish if they are accumulated but not immediately consumed163.
Of course, economic liberalism per se, as it has been articulated by Adam Smith and (later on by Milton Friedman), does not exclusively flow from Locke’s theory. Spencer and Hayek carried the idea of possessive individualism to new extremes. Both considered a global free market a historical terminus164. Spencer’s ‘rational utilitarian’165 theory proposed ‘a future society based on laissez-faire industrialism’166. Spencer embraced the hedonistic value of ‘ethical theories’ that must lead ‘the ultimately supreme end, [private] happiness special and general’167. His ‘equal-freedom principle … that each and every man should possess the greatest right to freedom consistent with every other man possessing that same right’168, that every man ‘is free to do that which he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man’169, is understood in relatedness to personal pleasure. Individual liberty (whose primary aim is private happiness) requires limitation of State interference and boundless maximisation of (private) happiness170, even at the expense of political participation. The role of the State is to ensure that this maximisation of happiness does not interfere with the happiness of others171. William Howard Taft (during the American Gilded Age), for example, who was inspired by Spencer, argued that ‘freedom was all about the protection of individual rights – above all, the right to property. Democracy had to be curtailed to the extent that it threatened these rights’172. William Graham Sumner, a professor in Yale University, ‘rejected the idea that freedom was to be equated with democratic self-government’173. Instead, he argued that ‘liberty needed protection from democracy’ and restriction of universal suffrage174. He insisted in the doctrine of ‘“laissez faire,” or, in blunt English, “mind your own business”‘175, that is, on the doctrine of endless personal gain, individual felicity (or pleasure) and unrestrained property accumulation as the only antidote to social chaos. From a contextualist point of view, one could claim that Spencer lived and wrote within an age profoundly influenced by economic liberal (or proto-liberal/proto-utilitarian) views, like the ones we have already spotted in Locke’s theories. As a matter of fact, Locke’s justification for boundless accumulation of money and capital, as a means to overcome the spoilage limitation, is explicitly thought by Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776/ 2012). ‘[C]onsumable commodities … are soon destroyed; whereas gold and silver are of a more durable nature, and were it not for this continual exportation, might be accumulated for ages together…’, claims Adam Smith176. The introduction of money as ‘the instrument of commerce and as the measure of value’177 could ‘provide both the opportunity and the reason (which could not have existed previously) for a man ‘to enlarge his Possessions beyond the use of his Family, and plentiful to supply to its Consumption, either in what their own Industry produced, or they could barter for like perishable, useful Commodities, with others’ claims Macpherson178, while reflecting on Locke’s Second Treatise. It should not be neglected that ‘[i]n Smith’s opinion … the continuously growing wealth of a nation’ guarantees ‘a decent living even for the lower ranks of people’179
Furthermore in the state of nature (claims Locke) what prevented human beings from acting rationally was primarily ‘the absence of money and markets’180. Hence, apart from serving and protecting the rule of law, ‘limiting abuses of public and private power’181, a liberal state must create social environments within which competitive markets can thrive and prosper182. Apart from exceptional circumstances, where coercive means (prerogative) must be used (by the state), in most cases government intervention has to remain as limited as possible183. The aim is to allow economic competition to ‘run “free and undistorted”‘184. As a matter of fact, it was initially Locke who considered ‘the process of growing wealth as a natural process, automatically following its own laws and beyond willful decisions and purposes’185. Put otherwise, the capitalist markets constitute an autonomous, rational, self-regulated and impersonal mechanism186 that ‘rans according to immutable laws of its own…’187. The self-regulated market, the laissez-faire system, is an economy exclusively directed by market prices and demand188. It is a system ‘capable of organizing the whole of economic life without outside help or interference…’189, expanding production and increasing the distribution of goods in the market190. It is ‘the central institution of a liberal society’191; it supervises and dictates all political decisions. This ‘invisible hand’ harmonises the chaos of selfish acts of individuals without the need of coercion192. Notwithstanding sentiments of rapacity and selfishness are stronger in wealthy men, whose sole end is the satisfaction of their own convenience, which they obtain ‘from the labours of all the thousands whom they employ’, argues Smith, this invisible hand reduces inequalities by distributing ‘the necessaries of life which would have been made had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants’193. It always identifies the most useful and stable solution for society, a solution that requires no administrative measures nevertheless194. Thus, the invisible hand requires no ‘human reason’, no disagreement or political consultation, from the moment it (supposedly) has the capacity to automatically create the exact conditions within which well-being and material abundance for everyone are safeguarded. Smith’s conception of the ‘invisible hand’ was spelt out ‘in theistic terms’195. The invisible hand was literally the hand of the divine providence, working for the common benefit196. It is true that Smith never looked forward to the so-called perfectibility of man, assuming that economic liberalism was ‘a utopia suited for imperfect creatures’. However, one could easily take the ‘divine’ characteristics of the ‘invisible hand’ for granted as guarantors for perfection and, hence, for optimism, assuming that the expansion of the market will naturally (and almost inevitably) lead to a new flawless world.
Far from fulfilling its promise, to re-model the world in such a way where the endless expansion of the market forces will lead to continuous betterment, liberal optimism, with its emphasis on progress and modernization, has many times led to the intensification of economic injustices (as the next section will argue). In contrast, a brightest beam of hope for justice and common decency could be offered from the project of eucosmia, which advocates political participation. Such a project values the virtù of moral memory as well as the virtù of resilience and fortitude one could acquire through action.
Dispensing with the Leviathan; virtù and popular eucosmia
1) Optimism and economic progress: case-studies
According to Canovan, ‘modernization has turned out to be extraordinarily good at increasing production, consumption, and procreation, giving rise to a vastly expanded human race which is producing and consuming more than ever before’197. Modernisation, according to Inglehart and Baker (2000), by achieving high levels of security, produced a shift ‘from absolute norms’198 ‘toward secular values … [of] tolerance, trust, subjective well-being’199 values ‘that are increasingly rational, tolerant, trusting, and participatory’200. Free markets enhanced ‘political freedom around the globe’201; economic progress ‘during the past two centuries’ and free enterprise have significantly reduced poverty, elevating the standards of living in the Western world202. In Fukuyama’s words, free markets ‘have succeeded in producing unprecedented levels of material prosperity, both in industrially developed countries and in countries that had been … impoverished’203. Free trade has become a means of linking nations together ‘peacefully and democratically’204.
However, right at the beginning of the eighteenth century, claims Hill (1992), in England ‘more than one in five of the population was receiving poor relief’ but wages began to rise ‘for all the poorest’205. Statistics reveal that the national income and the average wage rates ‘went up after 1789’206. As Emma Griffin argued, ‘[i]ndustrial growth’ during the eighteenth century ‘provided the labouring poor with a degree of personal freedom’207; industrial growth increased the prospect of better wages and privacy, especially for navies, notwithstanding their harsh and insecure employment conditions208. The author challenges the conventional view, that the industrial expansion ‘heralded the advent … of a yet ‘darker period’”; instead, industrialisation signified the ‘dawn of liberty’209, the ‘era of rising wealth’210, the era of overt optimism. Other authors highlight the negative impacts of economic progress (especially in the countryside) for men, women, as well as children, who were forced to labour on a daily basis with no rest211. The Industrial Revolution converted metropoles, like London, into ‘new places of desolation’212, that had been converted into pools of unemployment and many workers were under-employed, or forced to labour long hours for low wages, without collective bargaining or health protection213. ‘From the age of seven children in factories had to work twelve to fifteen hours a day (or night), six days a week, “at best in monotonous toil, at worst in a hell of human cruelty”‘214. While industrialisation resulted to the ‘decline of the apprenticeship system’, it ‘created new opportunities for learning a skilled trade’215; the rapid economic expansion that took place between 1750 and 1850, led to an increase of the demand for these new skills those with skills216. While life was difficult, claims the same author, at the same time ‘life was changing’217. However, no substantial evidence indicates the dawning of a new peaceful and prosperous era: at the beginning of the twentieth century a quarter of the population in Britain was still in poverty; families were still incapable of maintaining their physical efficiency218. Paupers had lower living expectancy than the whole population during the Stuart times219. Income tax figures reveal that only one in twenty-five persons could enjoy middle class living standards, and millions were only aspiring ‘to live as only a few hundred thousand of people could in fact afford to live’220.
In Weil’s terms, ‘[t]he economic liberalism of the nineteenth century’ relies entirely on the assumption that ‘force’ must enter ‘into the sphere of human relations’ in order to become ‘an automatic producer of justice’, a force that ‘must take the form of money’ (labour), inasmuch as ‘all use either of arms or of political power’ become superfluous221 (see also the previous section). This assertion leads us to the following conclusion: if the optimism of economic progress, which relies on the rule of money (as force), has led to the increase of the living standards for certain portions of the population of England, but generated economic injustices for others, it is because force itself constitutes ‘a blind mechanism which produces indiscriminately and impartially just or unjust results, but by all the laws of probability, nearly always unjust ones’222. More importantly, since economic liberalism employs money as force and if money (according to the laissez-faire doctrine) is left alone to rule, precluding action, precluding all sorts of human intervention from issues of economic distribution, effectively throws off virtù and abandons society to the appetites of fortuna, of the ‘mistress’ that either brings success or becomes the source of misery and disasters, indiscriminately and arbitrarily223. As Keynes pointed out, the theory of laissez-faire neglects ‘actual facts’ and relies on hypothetical scenarios concerning the possible outcomes of the so-called ‘organic’ (or self-regulated) ‘process of production and consumption’224. These ‘actual facts’, however, are not mere economic factors, like (for instance) ‘internal economies’ that ‘tend to the aggregation of production’ or ‘monopolies and combinations’ which ‘interfere with equality in bargaining’ to name a few225 but the unpredictable consequences of fortuna. At the same time, to leave a society ungoverned, without taking action, precluding human intervention, preventing ‘the common people’ to impose measures through which this desire for illegitimate wealth accumulation is constrained, could allow certain social groups to take advantage of this anarchic condition, imposing their own order in favor of their own self-interest. Consequently, if force (as money) produces ‘nearly always unjust’ results226, this is owed to the fact that the market pattern, instead of being detached from the state of society operates through its institutions. It is, therefore, susceptible to the desire for domination, to the greed of certain groups that escape public control (especially since there is no popular body politic to allow ‘the common people’ exercise control over them) and, hence, find themselves in a position to corrupt, suppress and expand their monopoly through capital accumulation. We will return to this claim later on. Below we elaborate on historical examples where greed and rampant self-interest, exercised by such powerful groups (in the name of economic liberalisation) led to mass pauperisation.
The story ‘of enclosure and industrial revolution’, claims Hill, revealed the paradoxes of economic optimism and rationality ‘the eighteenth century had inherited from John Locke’, which on the one hand created work and (ostensibly) in-creased the living conditions and, on the other, forced the poor to work harder ‘in unfree circumstances’227. More importantly, it failed to deliver the promise of material abundance, suggesting that ‘all human problems could be resolved given an unlimited amount of material commodities’228. In the countryside, when small owners were bought out by large property sellers in order to facilitate the enclosure of commons, pauperisation rapidly increased229. Simultaneously, the ‘small’ and ‘intimate’ parochial institutions of self-government in villages that traditionally ‘had considerable autonomy’230 disappeared, once the entire economic and social life of the village passed into the hands of rich landowners231. A ‘rural democracy’ ceased to exist as ‘“the yeomen farmers were declining in numbers”‘, being forced to move to industrial metropoles in order to labour in factories232. While economic modernisation improved literacy levels (as it is commonly believed), high illiteracy in the English countryside during the pre-industrial era had not been an obstacle for the average villager233, who – while living an ‘entirely oral life’234 – could ‘take part in [local] governance at one remove’235. What the destruction of the autonomy of the English village indicates is that the triumph of liberal optimism, of industrialisation and modernisation, was the equivalent of the triumph of freedom and democracy. Liberal optimism conforms to a mode of being that, in certain cases, becomes a ticket to elitism and economic hardship.
2) Popular eucosmia and meliorism; virtù and memory
As Polanyi put it, ‘[e]conomic liberalism misread the history of the Industrial Revolution because it insisted on judging social events from the economic viewpoint’236. By insisting on viewing ‘social events’ and concepts as consequences of economic moves and money relations, exclusively revolving around the issue of property acquisition, financial security, competition and scarcity, economic liberalism construed absolutism and freedom, arbitrary rule and free will, from a standpoint confined within the narrow prism of materialism. Consequently, when economic liberals aspired to defeat absolutism once and for all, instead of associating the Leviathan, the serpent of fertility and life, according to Frye237, first and foremost with political power (as Hobbes had initially done) that was ought to be dispensed from the monarchs and the aristocratic classes to the ‘common people’ (according to the principles of popular eucosmia), they conceived it as a mere source of material supply, which was ought to be dispensed to the plebs, through the market pattern and through the unlimited expansion of heavy industry. In contrast, the project of eucosmia, drawing on classical republicanism, prioritizes distribution of political power. Consider again the following quote: ‘[t]hou [God] didst break in pieces the heads of leviathan, thou gavest him to be meat to those that people the desert’238. We should treat the word ‘meat’ as a metaphor; it does not imply actual meat, a source of food through which human life is maintained. Instead, it points to government and lawmaking, to political power, the source (the ‘food’) whereby the life of the political realm is sustained. Far from being a mere material force, the Leviathan symbolizes action and political participation.
The political realm, by liberating human beings from ‘the futility of individual life’239, while leaving them exposed to the potentially destructive upshots of their own decisions and mis-judgments, equips them with the necessary knowledge and self-awareness (moral memory), concerning their capability for evil. In fact, the Athenian polis was ‘an educational institution of men’ («πόλις ἄνδρα διδάσκει») claims Simonides of Ceos (quoted by Cornelius Castoriadis)240. The democratic council system of the townhalls in New England were ‘the school[s] of democracy’241 the ‘“schools of the people”‘ according to Emerson (quoted by Robert Fine)242. According to Tocqueville (1994), they were to freedom ‘what primary schools are to science; they bring it within the people’s reach, they teach men how to use and enjoy it’ (1: 61). Political realms emerge as civic spaces of self-education, providing the chance for ‘the common people’ to develop preventive skills through participation and experience. Recall, at this stage, Tocqueville’s (1994) assertions that ‘the people in America obey the law … because it is their own work’ and the same law ‘may be changed if it is harmful’ (1: 248). Experiencing the pernicious consequences of a law could prompt members of the same body politic that have decided for its implementation (through open decision-making) to change it. More importantly, such a negative experience becomes part of the sensus communis, of the common knowledge and wisdom stored in the collective memory (Deneen 2018: 81), of the moral capital that discourages repetition of similar fallible decisions.
In addition, consider the following axiom: ‘the Greek word aletheia [αλήθεια]], “truth” … combines the negative prefix “a-” with the component “-lethe”, which also occurs in the name of Lethe, the river of forgetting’ (Whitehead 2009: 14). Hence, aletheia (truth) and remembrance are part of the same parcel. Truth is pragmatic and empirical; it is conceivable only in relation to its effects and in relation to their practical importance for us (James 1978: 98). That means, ‘the true’ in order to be understood as such must become an event (or a past object) sensed and lodged in the storehouse of our memory. Thereupon, the same event is retrieved and, subsequently, judgment takes place; the effects of this event are evaluated and, potentially, recurrence is prevented. In certain cases such events end up part of the common history of a collectivity. Furthermore, moral memory gets into the institutions of civil life (educational curriculums, canons, et al.); wisdom (deriving from experience) is ‘embodied in institutions’ and incites fear of repetition, adds Pocock (1989b: 159) while elaborating on Burke. Concurrently, the ‘Supreme Authority’, which inspires ‘feare of punishment’, in order to relieve human beings from the fear of violent death, the ‘perpetuall feare’ that ‘alwayes accompanying mankind in the ignorance of causes, as it were in Dark’ (Hobbes 2006: 60), is not anymore the punitive absolute government but the fear of memory, which stimulates awareness concerning the need of self-limitation. This sum of memories (moral capital) gained through political engagement contributes to the realisation of our capacity for destruction, of the potentially destructive consequences our own decisions and moves.
Political experience (through participation) promotes betterment by leaving as its residue the intelligence of handling impasses. Psychical, moral and political evil, as Wollstonecraft put it, can be lessened by ‘the accumulation of experimental facts’243. Nonetheless, this amelioration is not linear; it must not be conflated with scientific intelligence and research, which lead into ‘the curious “better and better,” “truer and truer,” that is, into the boundlessness of progress’244 towards an end-point, towards a conclusion (perfection). Unlike Fukuyama’s ‘last man at the end of history’, whose moral knowledge would (ostensibly) prevent him/her from joining a new pointless245, the melioristic project of popular eucosmia does not promise absolute decency due to the constant increase of moral capital. As Kloppenberg pointed out, in a democracy a collective decision, adopted as a solution to a problem, could generate new problems unexpectedly that could ‘plunge us into new conflicts with unforeseeable and sometimes tragic consequences’246. As mentioned earlier, human collectivities are subjects to the appetites of fortuna, subjects to unpredictability and instability and require virtù (political action) to tame her destructive consequences. To assume, however, that fortuna is synonymous with unpredictability entails absence of guarantees concerning the outcome of action itself. Thus, upon scheduling and planning moves to combat the devastating consequences of this destructive force, a potential new strike of the latter could prompt radical readjustment (or abandonment) of such plans. In this respect, human collectivities are subjects to an endless battle between fortuna and virtù, whose aftermath cannot be always predicted. Consider, for example, the case of human unpredictability in the following hypothesis: a collective decision (A) is not motivated by immoral intentions; it takes into account the moral lessons from past (or historical) transgressions (memory). However, when the same decision is materialised within the real world, several different groups (B and C, for instance) develop a type of relationship which, along the way, becomes unstable, creating further tensions (D), undermining the smooth functioning of the collectivity. This equation A = B+C = D, points to the existence of a newborn reality (see diagram below) emerging unpredictably (fortuna) and sometimes unintentionally. Within the same reality group B is stimulated to act in a manner that inevitably causes negative reactions to C (or the other way around). Such a newborn reality can create conditions within which conflict explodes. Because this reality is ‘new’ and has never been experienced before, there exists no known method of prevention. It turns out that collective decisions are to a degree experimental and enigmatic; their outcome, in certain cases, is concealed. It is publicly revealed only after their final implementation.
To make a long story short, ‘meliorism is properly understood as hope held in full recognition of the factors that make this world a vulnerable and tragic place’247. It is this awareness concerning the destructive ‘vicissitudes of Fortune’, to use Machiavelli’s words248, what prompts resistance against wretchedness through political action. Fortuna ‘displays her might where there is no organized strength to resist her’249, when there is no organized commonwealth whose members find the necessary courage in order to confront this ‘mistress’ of destruction by means of political engagement and participation (as opposed to consent). The fearful pessimist, who withdraws from the public sphere and bestows all of his/her political freedoms to a closed circle of experts or to an unquestionable leader, lacks the valour and patience through which he/she could minimise the destructiveness of fortuna. In other words, the fearful pessimist scorns the importance of eucosmia, of being ‘good’ (εὐ), towards the ‘common man and woman’ (cosmos), of valuing the latter’s capacity to resist their natural destructive tendencies through virtù, through (political) experience, through the constant exercise of memory. As Aristotle argues, «ὁ δὲ τῷ φοβεῖσθαι ὑπερβάλλων δειλός» [‘weak and timid is the one who exceeds in fear’] because «πάντα γὰρ φοβεῖται. ὁ δ᾽ ἀνδρεῖος ἐναντίως· τὸ γὰρ θαρρεῖν εὐέλπιδος» (‘he/she fears everything. On the contrary, the courageous person is hopeful’)250. The pessimist is deficient in courage and fortitude; he/she lacks the fortitude and the virtù of resilience to challenge his/her fate. In the same way, the optimist, having expelled any sense of tragic vision from his/her mind, namely the idea that ‘in this world danger [and destruction] is ever-present’251, having over-estimated his/her abilities, bestows his/her faith to excessively ambitious plans, without being much aware of the existing possibilities for these plans to ‘go wrong’.
According to Aristotle, «εὐέλπιδες ὄντες ἀνδρεῖοι· διὰ γὰρ τὸ πολλάκις καὶ πολλοὺς νενικηκέναι θαρροῦσιν ἐν τοῖς κινδύνοις» (‘those who are hopeful are confident because they have overcome numerous threats’)252. Thus, «παρόμοιοι δέ, ὅτι ἄμφω θαρραλέοι» (‘the hopeful resemble the courageous share the same confidence’). But while «οἱ μὲν ἀνδρεῖοι διὰ τὰ πρότερον εἰρημένα θαρραλέοι, οἳ δὲ διὰ τὸ οἴεσθαι κράτιστοι εἶναι καὶ μηθὲν ἂν παθεῖν» (‘the courageous are confident for the exact reasons explained above, the hopeful because they assume that they are indestructible, shielded from every harm’)253. From Aristotle’s assertion one understands that hope and optimism (especially optimistic populism) are conflated. As a matter of fact, hope (or meliorism) rejects withdrawal and passivity and embraces courage for action, a type of action that promises no perfection, nevertheless. Thus, to revise Aristotle, the optimists are certain because they assume that they are indestructible, whilst the courageous are εὐέλπιδες (hopeful), because they know how to overcome the challenges of fate through their knowledge and experience (memory). They do not, however, assume they are perfectly shielded from the appetites of fortuna. The melioristic (the hopeful) mind knows that corruption, greed, lust and selfishness are too deep-seated in men and women to be entirely eradicated. ‘Such experience’, writes Lasch, ‘leaves as its residue the unshakable conviction, not that the past was better than the present, but that trust is never completely misplaced, even though it is never completely justified either and therefore destined inevitably to disappointments’254. The melioristic cast of mind advocates ‘courage [which] is indispensable for political action’, so long as it ‘stands in the sharpest possible contrast to our private domain, where, in the protection of family and home everything serves and must serve the security of the life process’255. No ‘reckless optimism’ – the ‘superstition’ of progress256, the utopian vision for a new society that stands in absolute perfection – but knowledge concerning the fragility of the human world stands as the most important virtù of eucosmia. However, eucosmia encourages action, which (in turn) presupposes fortitude, that is, the courage to ‘leave the protective security’ of our private realm257, to let ourselves be seen. For Arendt, courage ‘is demanded of us by the very nature of the public realm … because in politics not life but the world is at stake’258. In the end, meliorism (or hope/ἐλπίς) does not prevent us ‘from expecting the worst’ since ‘the worst is always what the hopeful are prepared for’259.
The analysis conducted in this chapter has highlighted conceptual connections between pessimism and liberal optimism: both are concerned with the insatiable human desire for endless possession. Pessimists propose as a solution to the ‘condition of Warre of every one against every one’, in which ‘every man has a Right to every thing; even to one anothers body’260, proposing absolutism as an antidote. Both pessimists and liberal optimists emphasise private well-being (as being the ultimate purpose of human happiness), proposing the handing over of all political freedoms to a central authority. Τhis authority should either be a coercive Sovereign (most preferably a monarch, according to Hobbes and Filmer) or the (supposedly) autonomous (independent of human action) rational and self-regulated market system, capable of guaranteeing economic progress, based on the widely accepted (during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) perception that unlimited growth would provide ‘insurance of law and order, at minimum cost’261. Nonetheless, extensive emphasis on the increase of the number of private opportunities offered to the indi-vidual, deprioritise and marginalise the res publica262. By devoting themselves to their private affairs, citizens would reduce their need for political participation263.
Of course, seventeenth and eighteenth century liberal thinkers were not entirely wrong to share (even indirectly) Hobbes’ approach to human nature, the view of ‘man not as a highly rational and intelligent but as a very irrational and fallible being’, to use Hayek’s words again264. However, their response to the problem of perpetual war (the consequences of our insatiable desire for possession) stimulates objections and controversies. Solutions to this problem had to be found not through absolutism but through the market, through the unlimited exchange of goods that would ‘turn universal selfishness to universal benefit’265, ‘liberating desire from all constraints on acquisitiveness’266. The unlimited economic expansion, which aims to gratify the insatiable desire for possession, becomes the ultimate purpose of all collective enterprises. As the second section of this chapter argued, the reasons the optimism of economic (possessive) liberalism, instead of removing predicaments that supposedly obstruct the pathway towards endless betterment, in certain cases has generate conditions where all sorts of injustices had been effectively legitimized. The market forces, this study suggests, must never be left on their own, unrestrained and uncontrolled. They should be put under the control not simply of the state, as Keynes suggested, but of the citizenry, of the ‘common people’, who join forces in the political realm, acting in concert. The exercise of memory through political participation is one the virtues of eucosmia; it is the virtù that renders human beings capable of making moral decisions, resisting the appetites of fortuna.
In short, memory and collective remembrance point to the moral capital, which (potentially) improves the ethical resources that regulate exaggeration, highlighting the necessity of acting prudently. ‘In a democracy memory is the best institution of self-limitation’267. One could, however, object the sufficiency of the use of memory in safeguarding prudence and self-limitation. For example: a past experience may, indeed, contain moral lessons but, as John-Stuart Mill claimed, such a lesson in order to be fully understood ‘[t]here must be discussion, to show how experience is to be interpreted’268. There must be speech ‘in which words are put together to form a sentence that is totally meaningful by virtue of synthesis (synthēke)’269 and sentences are ‘“composed of nouns and verbs”‘270. More advanced discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of speech, the sine qua non of all political action271 and the essence of the political realm272, as well as of other means that promote virtù and prudence against exaggeration, rapacity, selfishness and violent conflict will have to take place on another study.
- Christopher Lasch, The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics, W.W. Norton & Company 1991, pp. 13-14; p. 39.
- William James, Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, 2nd ed, Harvard University Press 1968, p. 137.
- Christopher Lasch, „Optimism or Hope? The Ethic of Abundance and the Ethic of Limits”, Sacred Heart University Review 10 No 2, Spring 1990, pp. 1-12, p. 13.
- William James, cit., p. 137.
- Christopher Lasch, „Optimism or Hope? The Ethic of Abundance and the Ethic of Limits”, cit., p. 13.
- William James, cit. p. 137.
- Jonathon Kahn, Divine Discontent. The Religious Imagination of W.E.B Du Bois, Oxford University Press 2009, p. 37.
- William James, cit., p. 137. Cf. Christopher Lasch, „Optimism or Hope? The Ethic of Abundance and the Ethic of Limits”, op. cit., pp. 11-13.
- Christopher Lasch, The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics, cit., p. 81.
- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, University of Chicago Press, 1998.
- Idem, On Revolution, Penguin Books 1990, p. 31.
- Idem, The Promise of Politics, Schocken Books 2005, p. 117. Cf. Margaret Canovan, Hannah Arendt: A reinterpretation of her political thought, Cambridge University Press 1994, p. 143.
- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, cit., p. 177.
- Niccolò Machiavelli, The Discourses, Penguin books 2003, p. 371.
- Idem, The Prince, Dover Publications, 1992, p. 66.
- Idem, The Discourses, op. cit., 371.
- Ibidem, 66.
- Idem, The Human Condition, cit., p. 48, p. 153.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Dover Publications 2006, p. 96.
- Northrop Frye, The Great Code: The Bible and Literature, A Harvest/HBJ Book 1982, p. 189.
- The Bible, Ezekiel 29:4-5.
- Northrop Frye, The Great Code, cit., p. 190.
- The Bible, Psalm 74: 14.
- Northrop Frye, The Great Code, op. cit., 190.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, cit., p. 381.
- Ibidem, 86.
- Πλάτων, 2014, Πολιτεία, Εκδόσεις Πόλις [Plato, Politeia, Polis Publications] 2014, p. 108.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, cit., p. 55.
- Ibidem, 55.
- Ibidem, Leviathan, 40; p. 55. Cf. Carl Schmitt, The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes: Meaning and Failure of a Political Symbol, The Chicago University Press, 1996, p. 361.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, op. cit., 72.
- Idem, On the Citizen, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 30.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, cit., p. 70.
- John Charles Gaskin, ‘Introduction’, in Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic: Part I, Human nature, part II, De corpore politico; with Three Lives, Oxford University Press 1994, xi-xlii, p. xvii.
- Thomas Hobbes, On the Citizen, cit., p. 30.
- Ibidem, 50. Cf. Crawford Brough Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes To Locke, Oxford University Press 1983, pp. 20-1. For Hobbes a mutual transferring of rights upon consideration of reciprocal benefit, according to which both parties perform what they have been agreed upon, is called a contract between individuals, from which a State has been created. Cf. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, op. cit., p. 74. Cf. Idem, The Elements of Law, op. cit., p. 84. Cf. Idem, On the Citizen, op. cit., p. 36.
- Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law, op. cit., 106.
- Idem, Leviathan, cit. pp. 93-94.
- Ibidem, p 122-123.
- Carl Schmitt, The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes, op. cit., 35.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, cit., p. 70.
- Crawford Brough Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism, cit., p. 71.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, cit., p. 122.
- Idem, On the Citizen, cit., p. 92.
- Idem, The Elements of Law, op. cit., 119. Cf. Idem, On the Citizen, op. cit., p. 94; p. 117.
- Sir Robert Filmer, Patriarcha & Other Writings, Cambridge University Press, 1991, p. 135.
- Thomas Hobbes, On the Citizen, op. cit., 115; p. 126.
- Johann Sommerville, ‘Introduction’ in Sir Robert Filmer, Filmer: Patriarcha & Other Writings, Cambridge University Press, 1991, ix-xxiv, p. xxii-xxiii.
- Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law, cit., p. 140.
- Sir Robert Filmer, Patriarcha & Other Writings, op. cit., 28.
- Thomas Hobbes, On the Citizen, op. cit., 123-124.
- Idem, Leviathan, cit., p. 105.
- Idem, On the Citizen, op. cit., 151.
- Carl Schmitt, The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes, op. cit., 19.
- Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law, op. cit., 176.
- Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, A Harvest Book 1976, p. 140.
- Ibidem, p. 141; emphasis added.
- Ibidem, The Origins of Totalitarianism… 139 ff.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, cit., p. 104.
- Ibidem, 104.
- Friedrich Von Hayek, Individualism and Economic Order, University of Chicago Press, 1980, p. 13.
- Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, A Harvest Book, 1976, p. 146.
- Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Wordsworth Classics of World Literature, 2012, p. 445.
- Patrick Deneen, Why Liberalism Failed, Yale University Press, 2018.
- Crawford Brough Macpherson, cit.
- Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, cit., p. 139.
- Ibidem, p. 141.
- Crawford Brough Macpherson, cit., p. 105.
- Mark Neocleous, Critique of Security, Edinburgh University Press, 2008.
- John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, Cambridge University Press 1998, p. 291; p. 330.
- Ibidem, 281.
- Ibidem, 330.
- Crawford Brough Macpherson, cit.,p. 194.
- John Locke, cit., p. 283.
- John LOCKE, cit., pp. 370-410.
- Peter Laslett, Introduction’, in, John Locke, Two Treatises of Government. Cambridge University Press 1998, 3-13.
- John Locke, cit., p. 325.
- Crawford Brough MAcpherson, cit., p. 241; p. 247.
- Peter Laslett, Introduction’, in, John Locke. cit., p. 72.
- Ibidem, pp. 23-43.
- Crawford Brough Macpherson, cit., p. 247. Cf. Peter Laslett, op. cit., p. 102.
- James Mill, An Essay on Government, Cambridge University Press, 2015, p. 17.
- Ibidem, 17.
- John LockeE, cit., p. 377.
- Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, Penguin Books, 1992, p. 158.
- Mark Neocleous, Critique of Security, cit., p. 17.
- Francis Fukuyama, cit., p. 158.
- Mark Neocleous, cit., p. 17.
- Ibidem, 12.
- Friedrich Von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, Routledge 2007, p. 85.
- Ibidem, 75; p. 86 ff.
- Ibidem, 76.
- Ibidem 87.
- John Locke, cit., p. 377. Cf. Crawford Brough Macpherson, op. cit., p. 104; p. 247; p. 255. Moreover, according to the Lockean viewpoint, we may consider as unlawful unrest (or rebellion) every act that does not aim at overthrowing an absolutist force, which is deemed arbitrary, coercive, and, consequently, illegal. Unlawful rebellions undermine political regimes founded upon the consent of the majority, protecting privacy and liberty. Such rebellions ‘bring back again the state of War’, since they take away the decisive power of the Legislative, a decisive power appointed by the people under whose consent is obliged to act. Cf. John Locke, op. cit., p. 416.
- Friedrich von Hayek, cit., p. 86 ff.1.
- Patrick Deneen, Why Liberalism Failed, cit., p. 21.
- John Maynard Keynes, The End of Laissez-Faire, The Economic Consequences of Peace, BN Publishings 2009, p. 16.
- Philip Pettit, Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government, Oxford University Press 1997, p. 25.
- Hannah Arendt, On Revolution, cit., p. 33.
- Patrick Deneen, cit., p. 101.
- Παναγιώτης Κονδυλης, Η Παρακμή Του Αστικού Πολιτισμού. Εκδόσεις Θεμέλιο [Panagiotis Kondylis, H Parakmi tou Astikou Politismou. Themelio Publications] 2007, p. 216.
- Patrick Deneen, cit., p. 27.
- Philip Pettit, cit., p. 31.
- Hannah Arendt, On Revolution, cit., p. 33.
- Philip Pettit, cit., pp. 36-37.
- Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future: six exercises in political thought, Faber and Faber, 1968, p. 149.
- Patrick Deneen, cit., p. 37.
- Annelien de Dijn, Freedom: An Unruly History, Harvard University Press, 2000, p. 6.
- Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future: six exercises in political thought, cit., p. 148.
- Ibidem, 146; p. 151.
- Ibidem, 153.
- Annelien de Dijn, cit., p. 2.
- Ibidem, p. 6.
- Ibidem, p10.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty and Other Writings, Cambridge University Press 2008, p. 5.
- Ibidem, 5.
- Hannah Arendt, On Revolution, cit., p. 30.
- Idem, Between Past and Future: six exercises in political thought, cit., p. 146. Furthermore, when Arendt (1990: 32-33) juxtaposed liberty with freedom, she mainly refers to Locke’s liberalism with its emphasis on ‘liberation’ from absolutism, with its insistence on government limited by consent (and, finally, on the ‘sacredness’ of private property) rather (for instance) on Rousseau’s liberalism (with its emphasis on positive liberty). This ‘Lockean’ liberalism had partially inspired the men of the great revolutions of the eighteenth century. Cf., Idem, On Revolution, op. cit., pp. 32-33. Cf. Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 186.
- Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, University of Chicago Press 2002, p. 2. Cf. Idem, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement, Penguin Books 1980, p. 22.
- Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, cit., p. 15.
- Friedrich Von Hayek, Individualism and Economic Order, cit., p. 16.
- Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, Beacon Press, 2001, p. 119.
- Christopher Lasch, cit., p. 52.
- Friedrich von Hayek, cit., p. 13.
- Christopher Lasch, cit., p. 52.
- Ibidem, 53.
- Ibidem, 53.
- Ibidem, 14; pp. 52-53.
- Ibidem, 41.
- Ibidem, 13.
- Ibidem, 48.
- Ibidem, 48.
- Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, cit., p. 160.
- John Gray, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia, Penguin books 2007, p. 120.
- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, cit.
- , p. 46.
- Jacques Ellul, Propaganda, Penguin books 1965, p. 140.
- Ibidem, 140.
- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, cit., p. 132.
- Andoni Alonso, ‘An unseasonable thinker: how Ellul engages cybercultural criticism’, in Helena Mateus Jeronimo; José Luís Garcia; Carl Mitcham (eds), Jacques Ellul and the technological society in the 21st Century, Springer 2013, p. 123.
- Ibidem, p. 123.
- Jacques Ellui, Propaganda, cit., p. 140.
- Ibidem, 141.
- Jean-Claude Mihcea, The Realm of Lesser Evil, Polity Press 2009, p. 68.
- Ibidem, 67.
- John Gray, cit., p. 120.
- Crawford Brough Macpherson, cit., p. 235.
- Robert Kuttner, ‘Blaming Liberalism’, The New York Review of Books, 21 Nov 2019, pp. 36-38, p. 36.
- Friedrich von Hayek, Individualism and Economic Orde, cit., p. 4.
- Ibidem, p. 5.
- Ibidem, p. 13.
- John Arthur Passmore, The Perfectibility of Man, Liberty Fund 2000, p. 250.
- Robert Kuttner, cit., p. 36.
- Ibidem, 37.
- Francis Fukuyama, cit., p. 159.
- Crawford Brough Macpherson, cit., p. 204.
- John Locke, cit., p. 391. Cf. Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 204.
- John Locke, cit., p. 301.
- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, cit., p. 102.
- John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, cit., p. 300.
- John Gray, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia, op. cit., 105.
- Idem, Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy, Routledge 1989, p. 109.
- Idem, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia, cit., p. 83.
- Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Ethics, vol. 1. Liberty Press 1978, p. 204.
- John Gray, Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy, cit., p. 112.
- Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Ethics, op. cit., 62.
- John Gray, Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy, cit., p. 104; p. 108.
- Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Ethics, op. cit, 62.
- Annelien de Dijn, Freedom: An Unruly History, cit., p. 327.
- Ibidem, p. 5.
- Ibidem, p. 310.
- Ibidem, p. 5.
- Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, cit., p. 429.
- Ibidem, p. 419.
- Crawford Brough Macpherson, cit., p. 205.
- Jukka Gronow, On the Formation of Marxism: Karl Kautsky’s Theory of Capitalism, the Marxism of the Second International and Karl Marx’s Critique of Political Economy, Brill 2016, p. 235.
- Crawford Brough Macpherson, cit., p. 205.
- Robert Kuttner, cit., p. 37.
- Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, University of Chicago Press 2002, p. 2. Cf. Crawford Brough Macpherson, cit., p. 53.
- John Maynard Keynes, The End of Laissez-Faire, The Economic Consequences of Peace, cit., pp. 20-21.
- Jean-Claude Mihcea, cit., p. 68.
- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, op. cit., 111.
- Friedrich von Hayek, Individualism and Economic Order, cit., p. 21. Cf. Adam Smith, op. cit., p. 425.
- Christopher Lasch, Women and the Common Life: Love, Marriage and Feminism, W.W. Norton & Company 1977, p. 7.
- Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation… 45. Cf. Adam Smith, op. cit., p. 425.
- Ibidem, 45.
- Ibidem, 71.
- Christopher Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy, Norton & Company 1995, p. 95.
- Adam Smith, cit., p. 445. Cf. Παναγιώτης Κονδυλης, Η Παρακμή Του Αστικού Πολιτισμού, op. cit., p. 81.
- Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Dover Philosophical Classics, 2006, p. 182.
- Παναγιώτης Κονδυλης, Η Παρακμή Του Αστικού Πολιτισμού, cit., p. 219.
- John Gray, Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy, op. cit., 122
- Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Dover Philosophical Classics, 2006, p. 182.
- Canovan, ‘Introduction’, In Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 2nd ed, University of Chicago Press, 1998, vii-xx, p. xiv.
- Ronald Inglehart and Wayne Baker, ‘Modernization, Cultural Change, and the Persistence of Traditional Values’, American Sociological Review, 2000, 61 Vol. 5, pp. 19-51, p. 19.
- Ibidem,p. 42.
- Ibidem, p. 19.
- Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, cit., p. xiv.
- Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, cit., p. 190.
- Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, cit., p. xiii.
- Idem, p.
- Christopher Hill, Reformation to Industrial Revolution, Penguin Books, 1992, p. 258.
- Ibidem, 260.
- Emma Griffin, Liberty’s Dawn: A People’s History of the Industrial Revolution, Yale University Press 2013, p. 19.
- Ibidem, p 45-46.
- Ibidem, 20.
- Ibidem, 31.
- Christopher Hill, Reformation to Industrial Revolution, cit., p. 270, 272.
- Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, cit., p. 41.
- Christopher Hill, cit., p. 263. Cf. Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, op. cit., p. 42. Cf. Emma Griffin, Liberty’s Dawn: A People’s History of the Industrial Revolution, op. cit., pp. 32, 34.
- Christopher Hill, cit., p. 264.
- Emma Griffin, cit., p. 35.
- Ibidem, 35.
- Ibidem, 35.
- Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost, Methuen, 1965, pp. 246, 254.
- Ibidem, 253.
- Ibidem, 260.
- Simone Weil, The Need for Roots, AKP Paperbacks, 1987, p. 231.
- Ibidem, 232.
- Niccolò MAchiavelli, The Discourses, cit., p. 371. Cf. Idem, The Prince, op. cit., p. 66.
- John Maynard Keynes, The End of Laissez-Faire, The Economic Consequences of Peace, cit., p. 31.
- Ibidem, p. 32.
- Simone WEIL, The Need for Roots, op. cit., 232.
- Christopher Hill, cit., p. 273.
- Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, op. cit., 42.
- Christopher Hill, Reformation to Industrial Revolution, op. cit., p. 271.
- Warren Magnusson, Local Self-Government and the Right to the City. McGill-Queen’s University Press 2015, p. 35.
- Christopher Hill, cit., p. 271.
- Ibidem, 271.
- Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost, cit., pp. 229-31.
- Ibidem, p 245.
- Ibidem, 234.
- Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, cit., pp. 25-6.
- Northrop Frye, The Great Code: The Bible and Literature, op. cit., 189.
- The Bible, Psalm 74:14.
- Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future: six exercises in political thought, op. cit., 56.
- Κορνήλιος Καστοριαδης, Η Ελληνική Ιδιαιτερότητα 2, Εκδόσεις Κριτική [Cornelius Castoriadis, H Ellhnikh Idiaiterothta 2, Kritikh Edkoseis] 2011, p. 68.
- Frank Bryan, „Direct Democracy and Civic Competence”, The Good Society, 1987, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 36-44, 36.
- Robert Fine, ‘The Evolution of the Modern Revolutionary Tradition: A phenomenological reading of Hannah Arendt’s ‘On Revolution’, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 2014. Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 216-233, 226.
- Marry Wollstonecraft, Mary Wollstonecraft: Political Writings, William Pickering 1993, p. 307.
- Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind, Harcourt Brace & Company, (Vol.1), 1978, p. 54.
- Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, cit., p. 307.
- James Kloppenberg, Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought, Oxford University Press, 2016, p. 18.
- Jonathon Kahn, Divine Discontent. The Religious Imagination of W.E.B Du Bois, cit., p. 37.
- Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, cit., p. 67.
- Ibidem, 66.
- Aristotle, Nicomedian Ethics, Oxford University Press 1890, p. 34.
- Simone Weil, cit., p. 157.
- Aristotle, cit., p. 58.
- Christopher Lasch, The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics, op. cit., 81.
- Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future: six exercises in political thought, op. cit., 156.
- Idem, The Origins of Totalitarianism, op. cit., vii.
- Idem, Between Past and Future: six exercises in political thought, op. cit., 156.
- Idem, The Origins of Totalitarianism, cit., p. 156.
- Christopher Lasch, Optimism or Hope? The Ethic of Abundance and the Ethic of Limits, cit., p. 14.
- Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, op. cit., 72.
- Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, cit., p. 122.
- John Greville Agard Pocock, ‘Burke and the Ancient Constitution — A Problem in the History of Ideas’, in, Jack Lively and Andrew Reeve, Modern Political Theory from Hobbes to Marx: Key Debates, Routledge 1989, pp. 159-182, 89-90.
- Christopher Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites, cit., p. 94.
- Friedrich Von Hayek, Individualism and Economic Order, cit., p. 8.
- John Greville Agard Pocock, ‘The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition, Princeton University Press 1975, p. 465.
- Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, cit., p. 333.
- Κορνήλιος Καστοριαδης, Η Ελληνική Ιδιαιτερότητα 1, Εκδόσεις Κριτική [Cornelius Castoriadis, H Ellhnikh Idiaiterothta 1, Kritikh Edkoseis] 2007, p. 452 (my translation).
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty and Other Writings, cit., p. 23.
- Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind, cit., p. 99.
- Ibidem, 117.
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- Ibidem, 245.
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