Monday, October 31, 2005

Cafe Hayek: Breyer and Constant on Liberty

Don Boudreaux has been noting the hype around Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer's book Active Liberty and says that Breyer and some of his admirers are misreading the work of a fellow named Benjamin Constant. This wouldn't matter very much - except that Breyer seems to base so much of his judicial philosophy on his inside-out version of Constant's explanation of the differences between ancient and modern liberties. Boudreaux kindly provides a link to Constant's 1816 essay The Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns to help make his point.

For anyone trying to figure out where Breyer and his ilk are coming from, I have to wonder if Boudreaux is onto something.

For anyone wanting Breyer's position...

Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution
Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution

No comments: