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EN
The state is the means by which the most primeval human problems are solved. It is, an entirety, capable of confronting an opponent in a fierce fight for survival. It is an authoritative, total and sovereign entity, having at its disposal the power to set out measures, to encompass the whole of public life and to make final decisions; it is in such words that this institution was described by Carl Schmitt, who added: should any of these features be missing, the state will cease to exist. Its existence depends on this power, which is necessary to identify the enemy adequately, to defeat it and to make peace. The state is also an answer to those human passions too destructive to be freely unleashed; conceit, envy and aggression. Machiavelli, Hobbes, de Maistre or Hegel, regarded as political thinkers 'par excellence', had no doubts whatsoever in this respect. Because of their anthropological pessimism, they were all followers of Plato. They knew that the realm of politics is a cave where one should not expect to meet wise men and saints. A hero of politics is enthralled by the play of shadows and echoes and devotes to it his all time and passion. Moved by an exuberant ambition and tempted by the hope of immortal glory, he pursues mirages. The liberals seem not to understand these nooks and crannies of the human psyche and not even to notice them. They reduce the mystery of our multifarious needs to one: lust. The entire wealth of feelings is reduced to the fear of poverty, greed and the want of luxury. They claim that all our choices are accompanied by economic motivation. The central character of liberal philosophy is Adam Smith's 'homo oeconomicus'. 'The Wealth of Nations' is, to them, a priceless source of knowledge regarding everyone's conduct. The economic way of thinking and the methods of eliminating tensions derived from the capitalist economy should, to them, provide a template for the solving of conflicts in other areas as well, including politics. What becomes important is the scope of power, which raises the highest distrust. It is the largest threat to the value which has been recognised as the most precious; human freedom.
Filozofia (Philosophy)
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2017
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tom 72
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nr 9
736 – 747
EN
This essay attempts to contextualise the purported novelty of Alexis de Tocqueville’s particular brand of liberalism. It regards the author not as an heir or precursor to any given political tradition, but rather as a compelled syncretist whose primary philosophical concern was the moral significance of the democratic age. It suggests that Tocqueville devised his ‘new political science’ with a keen view to the existential implications of modernity. In order to support that suggestion, the essay explores the genealogy of Tocqueville’s moral and political thought and draws a relation between his analysis of democracy and his personal experience of modernity.
3
Content available Evangelische Freiheit als Erbe – heute
80%
EN
The understanding of freedom from a Protestant point of view is out¬lined in Luther’s writing “On the Freedom of a Christian Man” from 1520. The debate about the “post-secular” relationship between political freedoms and religious freedom, which was initiated by Jürgen Habermas, provides the context for the contemporary impact of Luther’s notion of freedom. The “royal freedom” of the Christian person is profiled within this discussion about the current meaning of political liberalism. Examples of the political-ethical debate in the present-day Germany are being discussed. The “priestly freedom” of the Christian person is being dealt with in the view of the recent establishment of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany and its constitution. Lastly, the current importance of Luther’s theology of the communion becomes obvious by introducing the Holy Communion as the place for “priestly freedom”.
4
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EN
The article opposes the rejection of autonomy in favour of coercive paternalism. Based on the thought of especially John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, and Joel Feinberg, it suggests that autonomy as an ideal, a moral capacity, and a foundational principle in liberal democracies must not be surrendered for a doctrine of benevolent coercion. The arguments are equally concerned with the justifications for coercion, the value of autonomy and moral agency, and the dangers of paternalism (e.g. infantilization). The article concludes that Mill’s soft paternalism based on the harm principle could serve as a reasonable middle-ground allowing for the most severe types of self-harming behaviour to be avoided without surrendering autonomy altogether.
5
Content available remote Ke kořenům ruského liberalismu
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EN
The article focuses on political thinking in the 18th century Russia, which preceded the 19th and 20th century Russian liberalism. It is divided into two sections. The first sections focuses on certain difficulties connected with clarification of the term Russian liberalism (or more precisely liberalism in Russia) and the course of its existing research, i.e. the heterogeneous periodicity of Russian liberalism, the problematic specification of the term 'liberal' in the Russian milieu and the fluctuation of liberalism in Russia from positive to pejorative nuances. The second section pursues viewpoints of political thinkers and the development of public political life in the 18th century Russia, which was followed by Russian liberalism in the 19th and 20th century. The author pays attention to political ideas and standpoints of I. T. Pososhkov, D. M. Golicyn and V. N. Tatishchev and their attempts to weaken the tsarist power in 1730. He analyses the rise and advance of public movement and West European political thinkers' influence on the Russian political activity in the second half of the 18th century. Next, he analyses constitutionals projects of N. I. Panin, P. I. Panin and D. I. Fonvizin and ideas of S. J. Desnickij and A. N. Radishchev.
EN
A constitutive part of the political opposition in Austria-Hungary in the second half of the 19th century against the political and philosophical stands of the liberally oriented New school were also the pro-government newspapers 'Krajan' and 'Vlastenec'. Although their formal ground were the principles of the civic liberalism, they in fact subordinated the last to the idea of Hungarian patriotism and the strategy of preserving the status quo. These pro-government periodicals defended politically the idea of exclusivity of the political rights of the previous 'natio hungarica'. Concomitant to it was the idea of the meritocracy and superiority of the fatherland over the individual nations, or the whole over the part. The dominating interpretation of Hegel's philosophy of history, adopted by the Hungarian political elite, as well as its romantic one-sidedness (transparent in enforcing of the political objectives, i.e. setting out the patriotism in the Hungarian style, regardless to the cultural diversity) made it in the long run impossible to implement the liberal principles of the civic and cultural equality in the Hungarian region of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy.
EN
The article analyses two main economic trends (liberalism and keynesism) in the context of possible theoretical and practical answers they can give to questions related to the essence and causes of economic crises and counteraction against them. The author shows a significant connection between the appearance of global crises and domination of liberal thinking among economic theoreticians, practitioners and politicians. This connection is illustrated by historical examples of economic crises. The author also presents the reasons for crises (usually liberal thinking) and ways of counteraction against them (indicating that the keynesism recipes are the most effective). Finally, the author states that in present political conditions, Polish economy is unlikely to quickly and successfully oppose the dangers resulting from the existence of crises phenomena as there is a fundamental ideological obstacle, which is liberal government, rejecting all keynesism recipes for an economic crisis.
8
Content available remote Aksjologiczna dezintegracja w UE? Przypadek Węgier
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EN
Hungary since 2010 has entered into the new chapter in its history, described on domestic scene as the „era of fight for freedom”, of national independence (from any foreign diktat) and „unorthodox economy”, which led also to the „opening to the East” (including China and Russia). Even the unquestioned leader of the State, prime minister Viktor Orbán confirmed, that this is „an illiberal system”, moving ever since further and further away from liberal democracy established in 1990. The author of this study, using mainly Hungarian and Hungarian language sources, is trying to describe, what is the essence of the new system, how it works and looks like. This Hungarian case study seems to be important, as it shows yet another challenge on the road of European integration, with so many other obstacles recently. Is the new Hungarian system a showcase for the others in the region, and the whole EU? No one knows the answer, but it is the highest time to know, how the Hungarian system is looking from the inside, after withdrawal from the principles of the rule of law, liberal democracy and the separation of powers, or checks and balances.
EN
What does 'the neutrality of the state' mean and is it possible? There are two colliding concepts in political thought regarding the extent of the state's intervention in the life of an individual. The first of them is minimalist and the second is that of the common good. It is in this context that it is worthwhile analysing what neutrality means. The dispute between the advocates of the state's neutrality and its enemies is not only of a theoretical nature. The lack of agreement in this matter often leads to political conflicts, which antagonise not only politicians but also society in its entirety, as in the case of abortion or euthanasia. Neutrality is one of the main features of a contemporary, liberal state. In the liberal approach, the standpoint may be also put forth that compromise and toleration are the most important of liberal and democratic values. The essence of this is the separation of the sphere of the state from that of morality, which results in the creation of a space for discussion, polemics and dispute. Involvement on the part of the state raises controversy, most of all in the moral sphere related to one's philosophy of life. When we talk of the neutrality of the state, the issue which comes to the fore is that of religious toleration and an issue akin to this, the issue of relations between the state and the church. The contemporary understanding of this matter is more narrow. Neutrality of the state is associated with the latter's remaining distant from any philosophy of life, and not necessarily only that which is rooted in religion. The issue of religious toleration has, however, contributed to a large degree to the debates on the neutrality of the state which are being carried out at present and the very idea of the neutrality of the state is like a generalisation of the role of the concept of neutrality with regard to religion.
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nr 2
174-185
EN
Since W. Kaufmann's attempt more than half a century ago (Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, (N)1950) to rehabilitate Nietzsche as a progressive thinker there has been a lively debate about the relation between Nietzsche's philosophical and political positions. According to some, Nietzsche's 'reactionary politics' follows naturally from his doctrines of Will to Power and the Overman. (Bruce Detwiler argues for this position in: 'Nietzsche and the Politics of Aristocratic Radicalism' (D), 1990.) Others maintain that, properly interpreted, Nietzsche's philosophical views imply a progressive political position which Nietzsche could not arrive at because he was captive of a number of misguided assumptions. (Mark Warren in 'Nietzsche and Political Thought' (W), 1988; and William E. Connolly in 'Political Theory and Modernity' (C), 1988, take this position.) The author going to defend a version of W. Kaufmann's thesis that Nietzsche's teachings on the Overman and the Will to Power ought not to be interpreted in (traditional) political terms. However, in contrast to Kaufmann, the author argues that in his middle period Nietzsche does put forth a fairly coherent political position and, furthermore, author argues that his doctrine of Will to Power does have some political implications. In opposition to Kaufmann's critics, on the other hand, the author argues that Nietzsche's attacks in his final period, on what he calls 'herd morality', are compatible with constitutional liberalism.
Filozofia (Philosophy)
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2017
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tom 72
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nr 4
306 – 311
EN
The essay shows that some political views from the times of Athenian democracy are acceptable even today. Although the essence of democracy has changed, its long journey has now entered a dead end street. Liberal democracy, coupled with globalization and the neo-liberal principles of market economy, is now in crisis that needs to be resolved. Maintaining its framework is important; otherwise we risk the rise of illiberal democracies. One way to overcoming this crisis is to revive democracy through various forms of participation, basically active citizenship, which for Aristotle was embodied by a democratic constitution, especially the Athenian one.
EN
The most relentless attack on socialism in Britain in the late nineteenth century was made by W. H. Mallock. He was one of the few Conservatives to take socialism seriously enough to subject it to a rigorous criticism and thus he did more than probably anyone else to convince Conservatives that socialism, and not liberalism, was their real enemy. Mallock was dissatisfied with evolutionary sociology, but neither could he rely - in constructing his defence of the man of ability - on the concepts of traditional conservatism. Consequently, he tried to elaborate a new theoretical framework to prove his main thesis, i.e. the connexion between the inequalities in human capacity and the inequality of wealth. He insisted that any changes that tend to abolish inequalities would tend also to destroy civilization. This conviction led him, however, to an exaggerated defence of individualism, neglecting the corporate needs of society.
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nr 4
311-317
EN
The paper tries to explain an interesting shift in the philosophy of Richard Rorty, which took place after he started to pay attention to the renewal of the idea of American exceptionalism. Suddenly he stopped talking about destructing 'the old ladders' and focused on the reconstruction and revision on the basis of religion and American Enlightenment which are the sources of American exceptionalism and civic religion. Actually he abandoned his atheist position and called for the diversity of the religious experience ('romantic polytheism') as a clue to liberal and democratic morality.
EN
The aim of the paper is to reconsider the traditional evaluation of S. H. Vajansky, which underlines mainly the anti-progressive, conservative and anti-realistic features of his later writings. The examination of his earlier articles in Narodne noviny up to 1883 shows, however, his critical openness to the contributions of constitutionalism. His primordialistic standpoint is enriched by the ideas emphasizing the importance of the education of wider public as well as the necessity of polemics in creating Slovak national awareness. Young Vajansky did not dismiss the incentives of liberalism or constitutionalism. He rather criticized their formalism. He acknowledged their key contribution in expanding the ideas of the freedom of press and speech, which should have served the political elites in their creating the national identity.
Filozofia (Philosophy)
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2021
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tom 76
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nr 8
624 – 635
EN
The problems of contemporary individualism, referring to the ideology of liberalism, can also be perceived through the current pandemic crisis. In civil and political society, we can see the phenomenon in which regulations of legal authorities are accepted by a certain part of the population with reluctance, not taking into account the fact that these authorities have a legitimate authority to implement them. Nevertheless, at certain moments we are confronted with views on the restriction of personal freedom. In this paper, we address the question of whether, in the context of the current crisis, personal freedom is not confused with Rousseau's concept of unlimited noble savage autonomy in its natural state. In the text, we aim to reflect on the possibilities and limits of legitimate authority to interfere in the personal freedom of the individual in the context of the liberal tradition. We chose the liberal framework of our work because it is precisely liberalism that is least open to interfering with the freedoms of individuality. If we confirmed the possibilities of such action of the state within the civil and political society, which is ideologically based on liberalism, while we consider it as the greatest protector of personal freedom, our hypothesis of the possibility of approaching of such actions of authorities would gain valuable arguments.
16
Content available remote Význam Díla G. K. Chestertona pro myšlení Ferdinanda Peroutky
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EN
In the Bohemian Lands between the two world wars, G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was among the English authors most translated into Czech. Despite his Roman Catholicism, conservative politics (which led him even to sympathize with Mussolini), and his rejection of Modernist culture, in this country Chesterton was for the most part considered a modern writer who appealed to a wide range of readers and writers. Some of these Czech men of letters (Karel Capek, Ferdinand Peroutka, and Miroslav Rutte) advocated pragmatism and liberalism; others (Karel Teige, Bedrich Václavek, and Jan Werich) were members of the avant-garde; few were Roman Catholic (Alfred Fuchs, Dominik Pecka, and Timoteus Vavrinec Vodicka) - the last named of whom wrote a book about Chesterton, which one-sidedly emphasized Chesterton's Neo-Thomist inspiration. Although William James approvingly quoted Chesterton in his book on pragmatism and the Polish literary historian Waclaw Borowy pointed out the links between Chesterton and pragmatism in the 1920s, this sort of interpretation of Chesterton's works was rare outside the Bohemian Lands. By contrast, in this country this interpretation predominated and Chesterton was considered a pragmatist also by authors who rejected him precisely for this reason, usually in debates with Karel Capek, whether the Roman Catholic Jaroslav Durych, the Marxist Zdenek Nejedlý, or F. X. Salda. These authors rejected Chesterton's 'petty-bourgeois qualities', but, paradoxically, it was Chesterton's resistance to liberal democracy (as well as the fantasy quality of his fiction) that attracted Václavek. Peroutka (whom in this context could scarcely be called a liberal) shared Chesterton's distrust of the market economy; whereas Chesterton proposed the redistribution of property to small owners ('distributism'), Peroutka saw socialism as a necessary step towards achieving a more just society (since socialism and conservatism were both opposed to liberalism). For Peroutka Chesterton's Christian-based emphasis on the ordinary man and the fundamental equality of all people was an inspiration. The Czech liberalism of the First Republic (1918-38) is usually, in part justifiably, reproached for its not being 'anchored'. Peroutka's interest in Chesterton's views could therefore have constituted an attempt at a more profound metaphysical anchoring of his own political opinions. This attempt was, however, paradoxical, since Peroutka did not recognize Chesterton's religious starting point.
Filozofia (Philosophy)
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2020
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tom 75
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nr 5
341 – 355
EN
The ideology of liberalism is not a closed intellectual space where inspiration can no longer be found. Based on a comparison of three philosophers – Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and their approaches to the key concepts of freedom, autonomy and property, the article explains the context of the historical evolution of liberalism in its early stages. The aim of the article is to show that liberalism does not have just one understanding of these concepts. In the context of this statement, we consider it as necessary to reconsider the traditional view of liberalism as an ideology that promotes laissez-faire policy and does not seek to actively counter social inequalities or to some extent interfere with the freedom and property rights of individuals.
EN
The article concerns the idea of multiculturalism and the role of anthropology in the disputes surrounding it. The first part of the article is devoted to the genesis of multiculturalism and the problems which it creates. These problems centre on the question of whether it is possible to combine multiculturalism with the values of western liberal democracy. Does multiculturism allow for openness to that which is foreign and does it permit cultural separatism? Is western liberalism a symptom of ethnocentricism or is it the opposite and it allows us to move beyond it, facilitating a cultural auto-revisions - both cognitive and ethical. The second part is devoted to constructive role played by anthropologists in the discussions taking place concerning multiculturalism. The role of the anthropologists would be to identify the specifics of society and consequently to move from a strictly theoretical point of view to an empiric one. Since political theory is not yet a guarantor of dialogue and multicultural dialogue does not always require a justification of its possibilities or an indication of a reliable way of conducting it. The dialogue rquires the ability to at least partially understand the speaker and the cultural practices - where the protagonist could be anthropology.
EN
The starting point of the following considerations is the assumption that philosophical communitarian discourse as well as the juridical discourse about communitarian rights represent two sides of the same phenomenon. When the European Union was founded, the ideological basis of the liberal democracies, concerning human and individual rights, seemed to be insufficient. Therefore we need to return to the communitarian elements of culture and tradition that will ensure real autonomy.
EN
In her article the author contemplates the autobiographical work of the Austrian writer and humanist Stefan Zweig (1881 to 1942) called “The World of Yesterday“, subtitled “The Reminiscences of the European“. Stefan Zweig wrote his autobiography while exiled in Brazil shortly before he committed suicide. On the one hand, Stefan Zweig, direct participant in and witness to two world wars within the “short“ 20th century, describes humanity’s as well as his own generation’s hopes put into the era of liberty and rationality at the background of the disintegration of the Austrian empire. On the other hand, he describes the fall of liberalism and the rise of chauvinistic nationalism (Nazism and antisemitism) associated with the degradation of man and human dignity. The great author’s faith in and desire for the rise of global civic society have been left unfulfilled until the present day.
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