Is Liberty an End in Itself?

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Have you ever wondered if you’re a conservative or a libertarian? And what kind of conservative or libertarian you are? Joseph Baldacchino, president of the National Humanities Institute, offers a provocative essay looking into various views of liberty. Murray Rothbard, Russell Kirk, and other noteworthies are all part of the soup.

He begins with the current political mess, but only to introduce the real discussion.

Preview: Edmund Burke wrote that “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity . . . . Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.” But Frank Meyer thought that “all value resides in the individual; all social institutions derive their value and, in fact, their very being from individuals and are justified only to the extent that they serve the needs of individuals.”

Who’s right — Burke or Meyer?

8:56 am on August 19, 2011