There is no genuine conclusion to a book discussing the theoretical foundations (and various types) of classical liberalism and libertarianism. The debates that have been discussed in the previous chapters will go on as long as there is an individualistic response to the strong collectivist tendencies (of either ‘left’ or ‘right’) in our times. While the nuances, and indeed the fundamental cleavages, in liberal thought may not matter that much in the context of overt political debate they obviously do have very great significance for social theory. The continuing dialogues between rationalism and empiricism, subjectivism and objectivism, rights and utilitarianism and so on that we have discussed in relation to liberalism are familiar themes in the history of political thought. One justification for the extensive discussions of these issues in relation to liberal thought would simply be that they have rarely been raised in the standard histories of that subject.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.See Norman Barry, ‘Ideas versus Interests’, in Barry et al., Hayek’s Serfdom Revisited (London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1984) pp. 45–64.Google Scholar