32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A geat read!,
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This review is from: How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters (Hardcover)
I have always been interested in British history, but struggled to fit it into a consistent narrative. This book supplies a convincing, as well as an uplifting one. I would even suggest that something along the lines of this book's thesis could usefully be incorporated into school history curricula.
One of the principal ideas in this book is that the liberty inherent in the political system of the anglosphere nations owes a great deal to our systems of common law. This idea is understood by few of us, and probably far fewer, if any, people of other cultures. If this book helps more people recognise our magnificent common law heritage, then it will have done a great service to us all. I recommend Hayek's "Law, Legislation and Liberty" on this subject.
I recommend this book to all those English people who feel vaguely embarrassed entertaining patriotic thoughts.
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Initial post: 5 Jan 2014, 14:04:41 GMT
Peter Chapman says:
I think it is the other way round. Common law developed in the Anglo-Saxon world because liberty was important. So, liberty, or a desire for liberty, came first and Common Law came second. Common law could not have arisen in authoritarian countries, such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden....... because in these countries people have a need for authority in their personal lives.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jun 2016, 02:24:46 BST
Fresh Thinker says:
It is a mistake to view the German speaking world as a monolith. Until Bismarck unified Germany under Prussia it was a patchwork of states with vibrant experimental cultures. Don't forget that our current dynansty constitutional monarchs originated in Hanover.
Even Prussia was developing a strong liberal movement, which appalled Bismarck. Unfortunately for the history of liberalism, Bismarck was a political genius. He killed Prussian liberalism by inventing the modern welfare state. It extended the bonds of patronage and state dependency to the lowest levels of society, while creating and intellectual class beholden to the state. I suspect the the world wars of the 20th century would not have been possible but for the psychology of obedience to the state so created.
Even worse, the success of Bismarck's scheme in "justifying" big statism caused politicians worldwide to infect their countries with it.
Unraveling the unsustainable welfare state model peaceably will be as costly as was the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833. That was, however, far less costly than the violence of civil war.
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