"In Defense of Freedom" and Related Essays

Overview

Meyer has done more than anyone in America to search out the metaphysics of freedom.

—William F. Buckley, Jr., Founding Editor, National Review

When it first appeared in 1962, In Defense of Freedom was hailed by Richard M. Weaver as "a brilliant defense of the primacy of the person" and an effective "indictment of statism and bureaucratism." Meyer examines the tension between the freedom of the person and the power of social institutions. In ...

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Overview

Meyer has done more than anyone in America to search out the metaphysics of freedom.

—William F. Buckley, Jr., Founding Editor, National Review

When it first appeared in 1962, In Defense of Freedom was hailed by Richard M. Weaver as "a brilliant defense of the primacy of the person" and an effective "indictment of statism and bureaucratism." Meyer examines the tension between the freedom of the person and the power of social institutions. In his view, both the dominant Liberalism and the "New Conservatism" of the American tradition place undue emphasis on the claims of social order at the expense of the individual person and liberty.

In addition, Meyer insists that liberty is essential to the pursuit of virtue. Therefore, to Meyer, the proper end of political thought and action is the establishment and preservation of freedom.The Liberty Fund edition also includes nine related essays: "Collectivism Rebaptized," "Freedom, Tradition, Conservatism," "Why Freedom," "In Defense of John Stuart Mill," "Conservatives in Pursuit of Truth," "Conservatism and Crisis: A Reply to Father Parry," "Libertarianism or Libertinism?" "Conservatism," and "Western Civilization: The Problem of Political Freedom."

Frank S. Meyer (1909–1972) was a senior editor of National Review. He was the principal proponent of a "fusion" of libertarian and traditional conservative beliefs in behalf of a concerted challenge to statist tendencies in American political thought.

William C. Dennis is Senior Program Officer of Liberty Fund, Inc.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865971400
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Pages: 261
  • Sales rank: 984,587
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword xi PART ONE
PRELUDE Collectivism Rebaptized (1955) 3
Freedom, Tradition, Conservatism (1960) 14 PART TWO
IN DEFENSE OF FREEDOM
A Conservative Credo (1962) Freedom and Conservatism 33
Clearing Ground 41
Why Freedom? 50
What Kind of Order? 77
Leviathan 89
The Locus of Virtue 128
Conclusion: The Shackling of Leviathan 149 PART THREE
RELATED ESSAYS Why Freedom (1962) 155
In Defense of John Stuart Mill (1956) 164
Conservatives in Pursuit of Truth (1956) 170
Conservatism and Crisis: A Reply to Father Parry (1963) 174
Libertarianism or Libertinism? (1969) 183
Conservatism (1967) 187 PART FOUR CODA Western Civilization: The Problem of Political Freedom (1968) 209
Bibliographical Essay 225
Index 231
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