A philosophical attack on liberalism as defined by John Stuart Mill in "On Liberty"
and in Principles of Political Economy. Each of the five chapters is
an essay, but they all hang together. I like his style and would be pleased if I
could write the same way. The book has many libertarian ideas, but is marred by
Wolff's sympathy for socialism. He believes that once something is brought under
government control (which he regards as rational planning), it can no longer revert
to the status of things that are under private (non-rational) control. The final
chapter is an elaborate attempt to prove that people can motivated by a desire to
have a relationship with other people. I don't know anyone who denies this, but
Wolff seems to think he is performing a service here by proving the obvious. The
problem is that he leaps to the conclusion that social decisions are possible through
democratic free speech.
Year Read: 1983
Libertarian Essays by Roy Halliday
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