The history of liberty in Australia



Publication Details

Melleuish, G. C. 2007, ''The history of liberty in Australia'', Policy, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 33-36.


In his essay 'The Servile State', Sydney philosopher John Anderson argues that the Italian liberal philosopher Benedetto Croce, in his History as the Story of Liberty, 'emphasised the way in which liberty (and, with it, culture) declines under conditions of fancied security and is reborn in adversity.' For Anderson the attainment of a social order based on social harmony and comfort, on 'security and sufficiency', was the enemy of liberty, which required an element of struggle and activity if it was to be a living principle. Liberty was about activity and achievement, not securing a peaceful and comfortable life. To emphasise this point he quoted Croce to the effect that liberty 'has lived and always will live ... a perilous and fighting life.'

Link to publisher version (URL)

The Centre for Independent Studies

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