TOWARD A DIALECTICAL LIBERTARIANISM
C. A. LINDEN, CHOICE 38, no. 10 (JUNE 2001).
"Sciabarra (New York Univ.) finds harmony between the dialectical and libertarian traditions. He starts with the dialectical thinking of the Greek thinkers, favoring Aristotle over Plato as the founder of 'scientific' dialectic. He seeks to demonstrate that dialectic and freedom are not at odds, despite the Marxian appropriation of the dialectic as justification for total control of political life and denial of human freedom. The author argues that dialectic is helpful in comprehending the totality of human life but sees hubris in the Marxian assumption of a god-like prescience that leads to dire, unanticipated consequences in action. According to Sciabarra, the larger tradition of dialectical thinking reflected in modern philosophers such as Hayek, von Mises, and Rand is not hostile to human freedom but rather can actualize it. The author does not presume to offer finished dialectical social theory but rather interpretation and reconstruction grounded in the history of dialectical thinking. On this basis, he argues that 'dialectical libertarianism' opens the way to a non-utopian radicalism that nurtures freedom and seeks change only on the basis of an unassuming dialectical examination of the realities of an evolving world. The originality of the argument will interest advanced students of political and social thought. Upper-division undergraduates and above."
Social & Behavioral Sciences
Political Science - Political Theory
C. A. Linden, George Washington University