Walter Grinder and John Hagel III have posted a very nice essay on one of the most important books I've ever read: Alexander Rustow's work Freedom and Domination. In this thread, I left a few comments, which I reproduce here for Notablog readers:
Wonderful post, gents, about a very important work. My only quibble is in the use of the word "dialectical" here (I'd use it in a much wider sense to encompass radical-contextual analysis). I suspect you're using it as a way to distinguish it from a kind quasi-teleological "dialectical materialist" conception of history, or at least one that points to "resolution" of conflict (though Marx's conception itself is filled to the brim with discussions of struggle and conflict).
Ironically, I think one can find certain parallels between R?#39;s perspective and the Marxist conception. Rustow even objects to the "one-sided" view of "capitalism" advanced by Mises and Hayek. He sees "subsidy-ridden, monopolist, protectionist" policies as the reality of capitalism's essence and even defines capitalism as a form of "protocollectivism."
Rustow calls himself a "neoliberal"; I know that that label also has a variety of connotations.
So, while I think you're both absolutely correct that this work is crucially important for helping liberal scholars in the formation of a research-and-activist programme, I'm wondering where you see Rustow in relationship to today's libertarianism. How different is Rustow's "neoliberalism" from today's libertarianism?
Not having read the full original German work, I have always been very curious about Rustow's larger political sympathies. I've read a few essays about him here and there, but any further light you could shed on his politics would be greatly appreciated.