Liberalism: A Counter-History (Italian: Controstoria del liberalismo) is a book by Italian philosopher Domenico Losurdo. In the book, he examines the inner. Domenico Losurdo, Liberalism: A Counter‐History (translated by Gregory Elliott ), London: Verso, ISBN‐ 1 4 (cloth). Liberalism: A Counter History is Domenico Losurdo’s trenchant analysis of the question what is Liberalism in its historical development and.

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This fiery polemic provides unrelenting scrutiny of the contradictions within Classical Liberal thought. I think this would be most useful for someone who is already familiar with the critique of liberlaism from, say, a Marxist perspective and wants pointers to critical olsurdo with liberalism in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.

It might seem strange to start an obituary of a seventy-seven-year-old by saying he was taken from us in his prime. And his thought is still with us. The liberals have yet to do so, and they must be made to do so.

Liberalism: A Counter-History

libearlism The broad theme is that international finance, in the form of Jewish bankers, provided governments with the loans to fund all sorts of benefits for paupers and others at the expense of property and the class of people on whose shoulders fell the burden of generating wealth and paying taxes.

Why did they emerge precisely at this point? Even those ostensibly counter-histoty the left in this country are quick, oh so quick, to leave the economic mantra undisturbed. Many British and French politicians and thinkers believed similar things about other colours or creeds, including those of the lower class. Other forthcoming translations include studies of Hegel and of Kant.

For this Liberalis History, as for his study of Democracy or Bonapartism forthcoming: Liberalism, for Losurdo, was never a doctrine of moral universalism. Phase Two Issue The liberty they idealized and proclaimed was thus both very restrictive in its application coumter-history very paradoxical, in that it prioritised the lack of governmental restraint in order to maximise the power of those in control over their family, servants and slaves.


Review of Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: a Counter-History | ed rooksby

But he was already among the most renowned Italian Marxists at the international level, as lossurdo richly partisan historian of philosophy, always attentive to exposing the material realities, the historical and social conditions, that stood behind all philosophical systems and ideas. These concerns did not extend to any principled objection to the most severe and oppressive racism, which did not end but escalated with the abolition of slavery in the US.

Particularly in the case of the American Revolution, where both sides upheld slavery, this was a bit bizarre. If a logic of exclusion is the defining property of liberalism then it follows that conservatism, which is deeply structured by this same logic, must be a form of liberalism.

A Unique Twin Birth Domenico Losurdo looks at the foundational link between liberalism and Atlantic slavery, and liberal philosophers’ shifting positions on slavery in the period between Somersett v Counter-hitsory and the American Civil War.

Modify Your Dissent Issue Liberalism not only inherited the hierarchies of the precapitalist world but created new ones; it not only subverted monarchy liebralism hereditary rule but imposed new forms of division and exclusion on the colonial and metropolitan masses. A must read if you want to understand liberal thought and the dichotomies that it painfully repressed.

In sum, this book is solidly documented, but not well structured and lacking an incisive original thesis. Ours to Master Issue Liberal philosophy, in other words, is continually engaged in an agonised and never-ending process of trying to square a circle. Domenicl is trying to justify the concrete forms of class and racial oppression that he supports and to reconcile these through various theoretical acrobatic contortions with the core normative principles he claims to espouse.

So exclusion, here, emerges as something that has to be continually explained liberalisj and rationalised in relation to liberal values rather than as, in itself, a core commitment. In this definitive historical investigation, Italian author and philosopher Domenico Losurdo argues that from the outset liberalism, as a philosophical position and ideology, has been bound up with the most illiberal of policies: As it was, outside of the deep south at least, the conclusion of the Civil War did in many ways create Hamilton’s America, and botched as it could be and still is it was a vast improvement over what was evolving before that point.


This period saw slaves increasingly reduced to chattels and established slavery as a permanent, hereditary condition from which it was almost impossible to escape. Apr 16, James rated it really liked it.

But this is precisely the issue. The resulting constitution provided for the most complete expression of Liberal values, securing the dignity of the White elite as free men, elevating property rights to the highest level of importance, and carefully locating slavery under the heading of property rights.

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Explodes most of a public school education in the anglosphere. From where did these struggles draw their moral force and power?

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. I enjoyed it but for some reason it didn’t flow very well and was a bit repetitive. This is basically domenco polemic about how all the guys who talked about the brotherhood of man were also very into having slaves. Rather, he investigates loaurdo only “the conceptual developments, but also and primarily the political and social relations it found expression in” which made itself known through various contradictions.

I haven’t enjoyed seeing classical liberals getting annihilated by a well-read Marxist this much since Capital Vol.

And Yet It Moves Issue 1: In terms of importance and my desire to have lots of people read it especially useless bien pensant types in America, Britain, France, and those wahhabi-humanist nations I like to jokingly conflate and call ‘Nethersweden’ I would rank it a 5.