By Jason Caro

ISBN-10: 1441113045

ISBN-13: 9781441113047


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Thus, [t]he question as to whether . . conditions [of domination] obtain is going to be salient for nearly everyone involved, since it is of pressing interest for human beings to know how far they fall under the power of others. And the fact that the conditions obtain, if they do obtain, is usually going to be salient for most of the people involved, since the kinds of resources in virtue of which one person has power over another tend . . to be prominent and detectable. 37 The “salient question” in this example is what is to be done about antifreedom, not where did it come from, nor how is it so.

It is rather the empirical and practical difference between being carefully unmarked and being carefully marked. Both marking gestures must be continuously employed for a free people. It will undoubtedly be asked how is it that contemporary philosophers, politicians, the courts, and even an entire society can be said to be producing threats to the free rather than simply arresting, certifying, and punishing them? The response to this sincere question has been given. To be able to identify or classify the special category of anti-freedom requires the peculiar chronology that some liberty was already around as the status quo ante and so was prior to what comes to threaten it.

19. , §21. 20. , §123. 21. Thus, “for want of positive Laws, and judges with Authority to appeal to, the State of War, once begun, continues,” Locke, Two Treatises, II, §20. 22. Raz, Morality; Benn, A Theory. 23. Swanton, Freedom, 30. 24. “[I]nalienable political rights of all men by virtue of birth would have appeared to all ages prior to our own as they appeared to Burke—a contradiction in terms,” Arendt, On Revolution, 39. 25. Nietzsche, Basic Writings, 513. 26. Schelling, Philosophical Investigations, 84.

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The Origins of Free Peoples by Jason Caro


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