At £70 (£66.50 from Amazon) Autonomy and Liberalism is not a cheap read, but it does articulate the gut feeling 'that something has gone very wrong and that the political classes have effectively enslaved us all.
Autonomy and Liberalism (Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy) Dr Ben Colburn
This book concerns the foundations and implications of a particular form of liberal political theory. Colburn argues that one should see liberalism as a political theory committed to the value of autonomy, understood as consisting in an agent deciding
for oneself what is valuable and living life in accordance with that decision. Understanding liberalism this way offers solutions to various problems that beset liberal political theory, on various levels. On the theoretical level,Colburn claims that this position is the only defensible theory of liberalism in current circulation, arguing that other more dominant theories are either self-contradictory or unattractive on closer inspection. And on the practical level,Colburn draws out the substantive commitments of this position in educational,economic, and social policy. Hence, the study provides a blueprint for a radical liberal political agenda which will be of interest to philosophers and to politicians alike.
Ben Colburn is a Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and
Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge. From
September 2010 he will be a lecturer in philosophy at the University of
Dr Colburn stresses that in a properly liberal society equal access to autonomy is vastly preferable to equal outcomes because of 'the proper recognition of the importance of personal responsibility as part of the ideal of an autonomous life'. Inadvertently the philosopher has put his finger on
theral problem with This Government's attitude, and therefore the real
problem with so much it tries to do: it doesn't believe in personalresponsibility and it doesn't like autonomy.
Simon Heffer The Telegraph March 17th
A Libertarian viewpoint
Libertarianism is constantly being attacked as extremist or 'radical'. The charge of
extremism should be laid at the door of this Government in creating 4300 new offences in thirteen short years, and of the opposition's supine acceptance.
The Social Democrats once promised a 'bonfire of legislation' , I don't hear much of this from Cleggy in the two months to go until May 6th.
The Labour Party has clearly broken into two, the manipulative corrupt gerry mandering rump of Nu-Labour under 'Lord' Mandelson, and Unite-Labour guided by Mandelson's enemy Charlie Whelan with its hard left agenda and deep pockets. I would say that the soul of the Labour Party is in play, (if it actually has one). No wonder the deranged Brown sees himself as the only person who can hold these two factions together, and Balls sees himself as the heir apparent.
The true argument is Authoritarianism v Liberty, that is the Authoritarianism of whatever shade of Government against the Autonomy to live your life as an individual.
'Parliamentary' Democracy has been dealt a crushing blow under this 'Rotten Parliament' and should now be replaced by a Referenda based local democracy, where all shades of political opinion can be heard.
When Libertarians, Hannan supporting Tories, Classical Liberals can merge in this country with the intellectual rigour of the likes of the Libertarian Alliance and Ben
Colburn and produce something like this. We are on our way to taking back our country.