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Two Concepts of Liberty

Isaiah Berlin's famous look at the two forms of liberty, positive and negative. I have yet to read it, but have been reading a lot about it of late.


I have been watching the

I have been watching the series by Curtis Smiling

Thanks for the link to the stanford article, I will find time over the Easter holidays to read it. I have a great interest in all thought on politics, philosophy and economics, even if it is out dated; it all helps me to piece together different thoughts on aspects of the world.

I would disagree slightly with the missing of the corporate elephant in the corner, as he tries to show that we as people have been simplified by game theory to be more easily manipulated by both the government and the corporate world. Admitedly though, the series didn't really discuss how Bush and Blair are influenced by the corporate world, despite covering Yeltsin's ties with the oligarchs.

'The Wealth of Nations'


'The Wealth of Nations' among other gems sit on my shelves, apologies if it sounded like I was dismissive of Berlin. Personally I think it's crucial to be able to reason things out from first principles so I tend to go to the source and not rely solely on later evolutions.

Platos 'The Last Days of Socrates' being a case in point, I'm a slow learner so had to re-read passages, but once I copped the way Socrates was engineering traps for bellicose spouters I was hugely entertained. There aren't enough hours in the day for all the good books.

Maybe we oould start a thread where people post their favourites?

Adam Smiths's work is in my

Adam Smiths's work is in my 'list of things to read', interestingly his image is now on the back of £20 notes here in the UK as of this month.

Starting a thread on 'classicl' or historic books/essays on librty, freedom and the like would be a good idea in the Free People's Lounge.

Adam Curtis


Adam Curtis
has made a three part documentary on this, the last part was shown last night on BBC2.


Been discussing it elsewhere and it does seem he 'ignores the corporate elephant in the corner' in assuming Bush and Blair are driven by ideology.

This article
discusses the positive/negative liberty model but says it's a bit old hat (like left/right wing), nowadays Mac Callums triadic framework is more useful to categorise the different theories on freedom, IE it's not trying to answer what is freedom, rather a description of a set of aspects of freedom which can be defined variously by theoreticians and thereby the framework allows us to compare them more easily.

There are some books listed in that stanford paper which I'm looking forward to reading as I haven't seen anything close enough to encompassing the totality I perceive, and hopefully there'll be some diagrams :-)