Какво е това държава? Кога възниква и защо? Ще отмре ли? Какви са нейните задачи? Държавата и властта? Държавата и моралът? Какви са границите на индивидуалната свобода? Кои са естествените права и кои са гражданските?
Все въпроси, които от хилядолетия занимават философи и юристи, политици и икономисти, интелектуалци и прагматици.
През XVII век кралят-Слънце Луи XIV оповестява: „Държавата - това съм аз”.
Доста по-рано, през VI в. пр.н.е., китайският философ Лао Дзъ предупреждава: „Когато законите и заповедите се роят, то броят на крадците и разбойниците расте.”
И Западна Европа, в лицето на френския философ Волтер, достига до подобен извод: „Многочислените закони в една държава са като многобройните лекари около пациента: признак на болест и безсилие.”
Според руската императрица Екатерина Велика (1762-1796): „Ако държавникът се заблуждава, разсъждава зле, предприема погрешни мерки, то целият народ изпитва пагубните последствия от това. Необходимо е често да си задаваш въпроса дали това е справедливо? Дали е полезно? Преди всичко държавникът трябва да се съобразява със следните пет неща: 1. Трябва да просвещава нацията, която управлява. 2. Трябва да поддържа ред в държавата и да кара хората да съблюдават законите. 3. Трябва да създаде в държавата добра полиция. 4. Трябва да способства за разцвета на държавата. 5. Държавата трябва да бъде страшна по своята същност и внушаваща уважение в съседите.”
Книгите, с които накратко ви запознаваме по-долу, се занимават именно с въпросите на властта, управлението, свободата – във всичките нейни измерения, правата, законите, морала и редица други въпроси, изначално свързани с ролята на обществото/държавата и на личността.
The Limits of State Action
Wilhelm von Humboldt
Liberty Fund, 1993
The Limits of State Action, by "Germany's greatest philosopher of freedom," as F. A. Hayek called him, has an exuberance and attention to principle that make it a valuable introduction to classical liberal political thought. It is also crucial for an understanding of liberalism as it developed in Europe at the turn of the nineteenth century. Humboldt explores the role that liberty plays in individual development, discusses criteria for permitting the state to limit individual actions, and suggests ways of confining the state to its proper bounds. In so doing, he uniquely combines the ancient concern for human excellence and the modern concern for what has come to be known as negative liberty.
The Politicization of Society
Liberty Fund, 1979
The most famous essay in this great collection is Murray Rothbard's "Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism and the Division of Labor"--perhaps the best explanation of the division of labor ever written. This attack also shows how statism represents a drive toward de-civilization.
And yet there is so much more here: 14 essays on the consequences of state management for society and economy: "State and Society" by Felix Morley; "Egalitarianism and Empire" by William Marina; "The New Despotism" by Robert A. Nisbet; "Politization and Political Solutions" by Jacques Ellul; "Liberty and Law" by Giovanni Sartori; "The Masses in Representative Democracy" by Michael Oakeshott; "History as Force" by Donald M. Dozer; "Official History" by Herbert Butterfield; "The Monstrosity of Government" by John A. Lukacs; "The Guaranteed Economy and Its Future" by Jonathan R. T. Hughes; "Violence as a Product of Imposed Order" by Butler D. Shaffer; and "Kinds of Order in Society" by F. A. Hayek.
Edited by Kenneth Templeton, this is an indispensible collection for anyone who wants to discover the full range of serious and sophisticated assaults on statism by modern libertarian intellectuals.
The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays
Liberty Fund, 1978
Auberon Herbert (1838–1906) is an eloquent, forceful, and uncompromising defender of liberty—indeed, in the judgment of Richard M. Ebeling he is "one of the most important and articulate advocates of liberty in the last two hundred years." Herbert was a major participant in the profound and wide-ranging intellectual ferment of the late Victorian age. He formulated a system of "thorough" individualism that he described as "voluntaryism." To Herbert, "you will not make people wiser and better by taking liberty of action from them. A man can learn only when he is free to act." As Eric Mack writes, "Carrying natural rights theory to its logical limits, Herbert demanded complete social and economic freedom for all noncoercive individuals and the radical restriction of the use of force to the role of protecting those freedoms—including the freedom of peaceful persons to withhold support from any or all state activities." There are ten essays.
Commerce and Government Considered in Their Mutual Relationship
Étienne Bonnot, Abbé de Condillac
Liberty Fund, 2008
This text covers such topics as value, money, agriculture, domestic and foreign trade, war, labor, interest rates, luxuries, and the various government policies that affect these subjects.The theme that unites these disparate subjects is liberty. As Condillac writes near the end of the work, the means to eradicate all the abuses and injustices of government is “to give trade full, complete and permanent freedom.” In their preface to the 1997 edition, Shelagh and Walter Eltis wrote, “English language readers … will find … that the case for competitive market economics has rarely been presented more powerfully.”
Henry Sumner Maine
Liberty Fund, 1977
Sir Henry Sumner Maine was one of the great intellects of the Victorian era. In Popular Government he examines the political institutions of men. He saw that popular governments, unless they are founded upon and consonant with the evolutionary development of a people, will crumble from their own excesses.
The Struggle For Sovereignty
Seventeenth-Century English Political Tracts, 2-Volume Set
Liberty Fund, 1999
For much of Europe the seventeenth century was, as it has been termed, an "Age of Absolutism" in which single rulers held tremendous power. Yet the English in the same century succeeded in limiting the power of their monarchs. The English Civil War in midcentury and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 were the culmination of a protracted struggle between kings eager to consolidate and even extend their power and subjects who were eager to identify and defend individual liberties. The source and nature of sovereignty was of course the central issue. Did sovereignty reside solely with the Crown—as claimed theorists of "the divine right"? Or did sovereignty reside in a combination of Crown and Parliament—or perhaps in only the House of Commons—or perhaps, again, in the common law, or even in "the people"? To advance one or another of these views, scholars, statesmen, lawyers, clergy, and unheralded citizens took to their books—and then to their pens. History, law, and scripture were revisited in a quest to discover the proper relationship between ruler and ruled, between government and the governed. Pamphlets abounded as never before. An entire literature of political discourse resulted from this extraordinary outpouring—and vigorous exchange—of views. The results are of a more than merely antiquarian interest. The political tracts of the English peoples in the seventeenth century established enduring principles of governance and of liberty that benefited not only themselves but the founders of the American republic. These writings, by the renowned (Coke, Sidney, Shaftesbury) and the unremembered ("Anonymous") therefore constitute an enduring contribution to the historical record of the rise of ordered liberty. Volume I of The Struggle for Sovereignty consists of pamphlets written from the reign of James I to the Restoration (1620–1660). Volume II encompasses writings from the Restoration through the Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689. All of the major issues and writers are represented. Each volume includes an introduction and chronology.
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