Political Liberalism and The Formal Rechtsstaat


Drieu Godefridi’s “Critique de l’utopie libertarienne”1 is not only an attempt to refute Rothbardian anarcholibertarian theory but also an attempt to resurrect the idea of the formal Rechtsstaat.2 I shall say a few words about the first topic and then present some arguments for resisting the introduction of that idea into classical liberal discourse. Contrary to Godefridi’s suggestion, there is no logical or historical ground for considering the Rechtsstaat a necessary or even useful condition of freedom. I do not dispute that the Rechtsstaat was a central concept of the political liberalism that for a while held sway in Continental Europe in the nineteenth century, or that in some quarters there is considerable nostalgia for it. What I want to stress is that both in its logical definition and in its historical implementations it failed to support the classical liberal commitment to freedom, property and law. Indeed, it may..



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The Lawful and the Legal.Frank van Dun - 1995 - Journal des Economistes Et des Etudes Humaines 6 (4):555-580.

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