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Individualism And The Question Of Democracy

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Chapter Summary

The modern regime of liberal property ownership is characterized by a particular concept of democracy. That concept of democracy is bound up with the liberal concept of freedom, which is strongly influenced by the relations and conditions necessary for the proper functioning of the market system. The continuous conflict between democracy, and what individualists called 'freedom,' was well understood by the great liberal, Benjamin Constant, who insisted that there could be no freedom to participate in the exercise of real political power. The conceptions of freedom and democracy that developed among individualists had to do with the maintenance of these power relations, related interests and prestige. Individualists emphasized the need to make a clear demarcation between the business of elected bodies and the business of the individual.

Keywords: democracy; freedom; individualism; liberal property ownership



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