Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Ph.D.

TOTAL FREEDOM

TOWARD A DIALECTICAL LIBERTARIANISM

REVIEWS

ROBERT WHITE, THE FREE RADICAL 49 (OCTOBER -  NOVEMBER 2001):  35.


White writes:   "Whether or not you agree with Sciabarra, one thing is for certain:  this book challenges thinkers of both [libertarianism and dialectics] to think differently.  Sciabarra has re-written the intellectual landscape.  And intellectual history will never be quite the same again."

Nevertheless, White criticizes Sciabarra for not having made the full epistemological case for dialectics.   While "Sciabarra has effectively ended the monopoly that the left has had on dialectics," he still needs to argue for the value of dialectics.  White also believes Sciabarra has dropped the context for some of his historical comparisons, and that "dialectics" as defined, is a bit of a "catch-all term. . . . Sciabarra has nonetheless performed a great service for the libertarian movement.  Like his earlier work, Ayn Rand:  The Russian Radical, Total Freedom is a virtual hymn to the richness and subtlety of libertarian thought.  He demonstrates that libertarians, and Ayn Rand in particular, actually offered a highly sophisticated analysis of social relations and a highly integrated view of existence.  He effectively demolishes the naive view, too often parodied in today's political studies' classes, that libertarians reduce man to an atomised Homo Economicus, and that libertarians rest the case for the free society on a complete indifference to human well-being."

White remains critical of Sciabarra's writing style, but he thinks the book does not suffer from the problems that plagued Sciabarra's co-edited project, Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand.  "In short, Total Freedom is a book worthy of Chris Matthew Sciabarra. . . . Read the book.  Decide for yourself."


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