Dilemmas of Liberalism and Socialism (2nd Edition) by C. B. Macpherson

By C. B. Macpherson

Crawford Brough Macpherson, a really influential author and instructor and Canada's pre-eminent political theorist, received a global acceptance for his arguable interpretation of liberalism. within the first e-book to ascertain the complete diversity of Macpherson's writings, William Leiss seeks to put that interpretation of liberalism in the total framework of Macpherson's highbrow improvement. concentrating on key subject matters - estate and the nation - Leiss tracks Macpherson's research of the contradictions of liberal-democracy via all of his writings, starting along with his 1935 M.A. thesis supervised by way of Harold Laski at LSE. His concluding bankruptcy severely examines the center of Macpherson's political philosophy - the excellence among extractive and developmental powers - opposed to the historical past of social swap within the democracies of the West within the interval because the finish of the second one global conflict. a brand new preface by way of the writer experiences books and articles on Macpherson released within the interval due to the fact this booklet first seemed in 1988.

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Extra resources for Dilemmas of Liberalism and Socialism (2nd Edition)

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H. Tawney, and the sociologist Morris Ginsberg. Richard Henry Tawney (1880-1962) also exerted a strong influence on the young Macpherson. Tawney was an economic historian and social reformer whose first book, The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century (1912), made him famous. After teaching for many years in workers' education forums and advocating Christian Socialism in 28 C. B. Macpherson speeches and writings, he became a professor at the London School of Economics in 1931. His two best-known books were published in the 1920s: The Acquisitive Society (1920) and Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926).

Regarding the case at hand, we can say that society has "politicized" the issue of working conditions. Although Macpherson does not say it in this way, the observation is consistent with his discussion. Furthermore, in politicizing working conditions, society to some extent also politicizes the issue of property relations, because the former (society) acts as a limitation on the scope of the discretionary power and authority formerly enjoyed by the latter (property relations). To be sure, one can reply that it is actually in the "best interest" of the propertied classes for the state to get them to go along, willingly or not (that is, whether or not those classes are "conscious" of what is "objectively" in their own interests).

As mentioned earlier, I will not comment directly on the scholarly controversies triggered by Macpherson's interpretation of the history of liberal political theory; rather, my discussion of democracy will focus on the relation between political systems and social institutions. The third theme is the individual, or more precisely the connection between individuals and society. The best illustration of this theme is the contrast between "developmental" and "acquisitive" powers; and in general this is the Utopian element in Macpherson's thought, the one which shows most clearly his acceptance of political theory as a vocation.

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