There is a world-wide debate at the moment about the appropriate role for the state in modern societies in the light of the world financial crisis. This book provides a comprehensive analysis and critique of Neo-liberal or economic liberal ideas on this issue.
This paper focuses on the idea of the rule of law as found in neo-liberal political and legal theory. The central argument is that it is not possible to produce an account of the rule of law and its basic building blocks in such theories—namely freedom, rights and justice—without reference to a set of shared substantive values. The crucial argument is that if freedom is understood negatively, as the absence of coercion, it is not in fact possible to produce an (...) account of coercion which detaches it from conceptions of the good. The impact of this argument is then analysed in relation to a range of themes, one of the central ones of which is that on the neo-liberal view the welfare state cannot be made compatible with the rule of law. The case for this important view is rejected in the paper. (shrink)
Should blood be bought and sold is in crude terms the question asked and answered by Richard Titmuss in his recent book The Gift Relationship. Dr Raymond Plant, a lecturer in philosophy at Manchester University, analyses Titmuss' arguments in a paper which we are printing in two parts. Titmuss has taken the provision of blood as his example of the gift relationship--and by extension that of health care generally. Dr Plant considers in turn each of Titmuss' arguments that blood should (...) not be a marketable commodity, the moral objections to which seem to be the erosion of freedom and of truth telling, the separation of society through the cash nexus, and its converse that the provision of health care is a means for the integration of society. Dr Plant also examines the views of other commentators on the Titmuss' theory of the value of a 'free' blood transfusion service and other medical care as a means of integration in society, and ends with his promise that in the second part of his paper he will examine Titmuss' principles not in terms of the market but rather as related to the principle of social justice. (shrink)
First published in 1973 this volume demonstrates the interconnection between Hegel's political and metaphysical writings. This book provides a point of entry into Hegel's system of ideas. Condemned unread, and when read far too often misunderstood, Hegel's thought has once more begun to make its impact on contemporary ideas with many of today's most important social and political thinkers.
This engrossing book by a prominent and doughty Marxist humanist falls into three distinct parts. The first deals with Hegel and an exposition and estimate of his influence upon both Marx and Lenin; the second part deals with the thought of Trotsky, Mao and Sartre; finally there is a discussion of various revolutionary movements within modern society, from Black power to Women’s Liberation. It is Dunayevskaya’s thesis that since the death of Lenin there has been a theoretical void at the (...) centre of left wing liberation movements. Where theories have been propounded people have been lured by the seductive but deadly siren voices of Maoism and Existentialism. This theoretical void may be overcome, Dunayevskaya argues, by a reappropriation of the Hegelian dimension of Marxism. (shrink)
This article examines the issues raised by religious adherents’ wish to express their beliefs in the public domain through, for example, their modes of dress, their performance of public roles, and their response to homosexuality. It considers on what grounds religion might merit special treatment and how special that treatment should be. A common approach to these issues is through the notion of religious identity, but both the idea of religious identity and its use to ground claims against others prove (...) deeply problematic. An alternative and more productive approach is through the notion of harm. People should enjoy the freedom to express their religious convictions subject to the harm principle, but harm should include the undermining of people’s status as free and equal citizens. The article concludes by considering the grounds upon which this alternative approach might recognize religion as special and might justify giving an overriding status to civic equality. (shrink)