I was saying just now, before you came in, prince, that there has been nothing national up to now, about our liberalism, and nothing the liberals do, or have done, is in the least degree national.
At all events, no other has ever said or written a word about it; and in this fact is expressed the whole essence of Russian liberalism of the sort which I am now considering.
Then my 'fact' consists in this, that RUSSIAN liberalism is not an attack upon the existing order of things, but an attack upon the very essence of things themselves--indeed, on the things themselves; not an attack on the Russian order of things, but on Russia itself.
After the Spanish campaign, the administration seemed to enter upon an era of tranquillity in which some good might be accomplished; and three months before the opening of our story a new reign had begun without any apparent opposition; for the liberalism
of the Left had welcomed Charles X.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999); Rawls, Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996); Alan Ryan, The Making of Modern Liberalism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012); John Gray, Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy (London: Routledge, 1989); and Jeremy Waldron, "Theoretical Foundations of Liberalism," Philosophical Quarterly 37', 147 (1987): 127-50.
Liberalism in Russia has long been a topic of special interest among historians, perhaps most of all because of its direct bearing on the accursed questions of the fate of the tsarist regime and of the historical alternatives to autocracy, tsarist or communist.
Some authors claim that we should speak about liberalisms
rather than liberalism
Her careful social dissection of Cologne's Jewish-German relations, which highlights the importance of local context, invites more precise comparisons of German liberalisms
, and I hope it will provoke future urban studies of relatively neglected Jewish centers, such as Breslau, Frankfurt a.
A rather different way of stressing the complexity of liberalism
informs Freeden's "The family of liberalisms
: a morphological analysis.
This argument is important not only because it expresses a different view of human nature (or, rather, of the possibility of human nature) but also because it is the basis of John Gray's critique of a variety of liberalisms
, all of which he finds guilty of the error of seeking foundations in universal claims about human nature and human values.
It may be argued that some of these thinkers were not liberals in a purist sense of the word, but in Merquior's more generous interpretation (his chapter on conservative liberalisms
embraces the |semi-liberalism
' of the German theorists of the Rechtsstaat, for example), they undoubtedly were.
The present collection begins with an introduction wherein Ryan describes his understanding of liberalism
and offers some thoughts on the nature of freedom and of rights, property, and "social justice," topics inextricably intertwined with one another.