8 July 2022
The Liberal Reads uncover the classical and modern liberal works in a digestible and easily-accessible format, packing a complex argument in a short thought-provoking essay and podcast.
In the Season 2 of ELF’s Liberal Reads, we shed light on eight more liberal works and critically reflect on how their authors’ ideas correlate with current political and societal developments.
Among the classical works, we have included Friedrich Hayek’s famous Road to Serfdom. While the author is arguing that the centrally planned economy inevitably leads to the totalitarian state, our review brings up the relevance of this argument in today’s context. The Theory of Moral Sentiments is a less well-known yet profound piece by Adam Smith, and our summary sheds light on the classics’ reflections on the motives of human action and moral judgment. The review of Areopagitica breaks down John Milton’s address to the British Parliament on censorship and freedom of speech. On the philosophical end, the review of The Rebel digs into Albert Camus’ in-depth contemplation on individual freedom and its political implications.
As in the first edition, the classical works are complemented with those written in our times. Thus, in his Open: The Story of Human Progress, Johan Norberg reflects on collaboration and openness as the drivers of humankind. Michael Huemer’s The Problem of Political Authority addresses the right of the state to intervene and makes us question and critically reflect on our core moral and political beliefs. In The Constitution of Knowledge, Jonathan Rauch argues that, despite all the post-truth narratives, the truth is not lost and reflects on the ways for us to (re)discover it. The Light that Failed by Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev uncover how the imposition of the model of Western liberal democracy has provoked resistance and anti-liberal trends in European post-communist countries.
Liberal Reads series is curated by ELF Head of Policy and Research, Dr. Antonios Nestoras.