Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On the building of a free society through the power of ideas

We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal* Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism which does not spare the susceptibilities of the mighty (including the trade unions), which is not too severely practical and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible. Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this has rapidly become politically impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide. Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.

Dell, Jim (2011-05-13). Memorable Quotations from Friedrich August Hayek (Kindle Locations 32-39). Jim Dell. Kindle Edition. [Emphasis added.]

* Liberal, here, is used in its classical sense—as it is still used in Europe for the most part.

The god of pragmatism has become the downfall of the Republican Party (GOP). It is no longer the party believing in the power of great ideas (like limited government, personal liberty and sound monetary policy), while the ideology of the Left is making constant, incremental progress towards its ends.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Power of ideas is good. The solution for America will be the one that best utilizes everyones individual capacities to its best extent.

What I hear many people upset about is capitalism, about money being necessary in human society. So if a framework was available that gave full liberty under that condition, with a transition period how-to or else new thinker free resources economy or something, then we solve a lot of problems. I would be in.

Check out my blog for some of how I see this happening: