‘It is for this reason that to the liberal neither moral nor religious ideals are proper objects of coercion, while both conservatives and socialists recognize no such limits. I sometimes feel that the most conspicuous attribute of liberalism that distinguishes it as much from conservatism as from socialism is the view that moral beliefs concerning matters of conduct which do not directly interfere with the protected sphere of other persons do not justify coercion.’
It’s important to note that Hayek needed a response to the chasm that grew into a war between the hard, nationalistic, conservative Austrian right…and the hard socialist Left (Bryan Magee heard Popper affectionately referred to as the ‘totalitarian liberal’). I find the principle compelling: Upon reflection, do you support coercion in order to advance or defend your principles? Not a bad litmus test.
‘ I have already indicated that, though I have all my life described myself as a liberal, I have done so recently with increasing misgivings – not only because in the United States this term constantly gives rise to misunderstandings, but also because I have become more and more aware of the great gulf that exists between my position and the rationalistic Continental liberalism or even the English liberalism of the utilitarians.’
Food for thought. I suspect one of Hayek’s main appeals to libertarians is his use for battle with collectivists of the American Left (Idealists and Statists who have trouble with individual and economic liberty). Libertarianism in the U.S usually rises during Liberal presidencies.
Stanford On The Vienna Circle here.
Related On This Site: Hitchens has crafted a path out of socialism…where can it lead…as I suspect his center is not always what I define as a less Leftist, American center, despite his depth: Via Youtube: Christopher Hitchens On Faith And Virtue
Can Kant do all that heavy lifting…what are some of the dangers of Enlightenment project?: From Bryan Magee’s Talking Philosophy On Youtube: Geoffrey Warnock On Kant…A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty” …
What about Noam Chomsky’s philosophical idealism, and his anarchism?: The Politics Of Noam Chomsky-The Dangers Of Kantian Transcendental Idealism?
How does Natural Law Philosophy deal with these problems, and those of knowledge?…