The Liberal Tradition

The Liberal Tradition : A Study of the Social and Spiritual Conditions of Freedom (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Liberal Tradition: A Study of the Social and Spiritual Conditions of Freedom N ow once again the familiar cycle of depression, militarism, war has further raised the temperature and shortened the perspec tive. In time of stress we naturally counteract our suffering with the thought Of better days to come; and as the strain increases we advance the date. We draw spiritual as well as financial drafts upon the future, never doubting that they will be honored at maturity. In proportion as the means we must now employ are costly and terrible, so the more clear and close must be the vision Of our ends. Thus readily we credit the assurances Of politicians that the immediate sequel to a tornado Of destruction will be a more abundant life for everybody, and mortgage our incomes, our property, and the blood of our children to a dream: lucky indeed we Shall be if that dream does not again become a nightmare. For purposes of war it is enough that we will the supreme end, vic tory, leaving the means - the strategy and tactics - to our gen erals; but for purposes Of peace free people must master means as well as ends. For the means will Shape the ends - as the history of modern Germany reminds us. In the battle of the faiths that is now actively involved, as it Was three centuries ago, in the battle Of the nations, those whose position is weak or ill defined will stand no chance at all. The faith Of the liberal is the hardest to define because it is the boldest and the biggest. Rationalist utopias can exhibit (on paper) all the scientific neatness Of the prison, the hospital, or the factory: lib eralism does not propose to model the life of society on the prison or the hospital, and even looks askance at too many factories. Coi lectivists are fond Of the argument We did it in war, why can't we do it in peace? Liberals do not propose to model the life Of society on the army or the Wehrwirtschaft. In all the hard bright schemes that have crystallized out Of modern materialism the ordi nary human being is put in his place with a platonic knee, or some thing more urgent, at his back; the reason being that there is so much more to human nature than what the doctrinaires have any use for. But out Of that more come both the folly and the wisdom, the passion and the insight, the virtue and the fun Of human life; and the liberal will never sacrifice the full range Of personal living to the symmetry of a mere political or economic system. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 18mm | 449g
  • Forgotten Books
  • United States
  • English
  • , black & white illustrations
  • 0243050356
  • 9780243050352