Tanja Porčnik
Tanja Porčnik
President of the Visio Institute and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute; former senior fellow at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and a Government Teaching Fellow at Georgetown University; PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Freedom Under Assail

Freedom Under Assail

For millennia, papers and books have been written about the essence and significance of human freedom. In these contributions, competing conceptions of freedom aimed to define the contest between liberty and power. Philosophers Plato and Hobbes, for example, thought that extensive or absolutist rule over society was compatible with their definition of freedom because, in their view, it would prevent society from plunging into violence or even chaos, which they perceived as more detrimental to freedom than a powerful state. Others, such as the 6th-century BCE Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu and the 16th-century Spanish scholastics, expressed and developed ideas consistent with the view of the father of modern political philosophy, John Locke, that freedom implies that an individual not “be subject to the arbitrary Will of another, but freely follow his own” More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016