TOWARD A DIALECTICAL LIBERTARIANISM
CAPITALISM & COMMERCE:
CHRIS MATTHEW SCIABARRA -- THINKING FREEDOM IN CONTEXT
EDWARD W. YOUNKINS, LE QUÉBÉCOIS LIBRE (28 APRIL 2001)
A version of this review essay was also published at SOLO HQ: "A Review of Chris Matthew Sciabarra's Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism." Discussion is archived here (with contributions from Sciabarra).
Younkins states: "In Total Freedom, Chris Matthew Sciabarra offers a provocative, scholarly, and original work in social theory for the analysis of society and human liberty." Sciabarra argues that "the libertarian ideal cannot be isolated from the context upon which it depends and freedom cannot be defended successfully when separated from its broader requisite conditions. . . . Sciabarra's message is that libertarians need an effective strategy that recognizes the dynamic interrelationships between the personal, political, historical, psychological, ethical, cultural, economic, etc., if they are to be successful in their quest for a free society. . . . The author wants people to understand both the necessity for objective conceptual foundations for a free society and the need for cultural pre-requisites in the battle for the free society. . . .
"However, Sciabarra stops short of developing his own substantive dialectical libertarian social theory. His work is primarily methodological and only articulates the view that a dialectical libertarianism is essential to the future of both dialectics and libertarianism. He has taken the first step by offering a metatheoretical structure for social inquiry, rather than a comprehensive argument for liberty. Sciabarra cautions that much work needs to be done to test the validity of various libertarian theories. I am looking forward to seeing what Sciabarra will offer us next that will contribute toward the development of a comprehensive defense of freedom."
Dr. Younkins is a Professor of Accountancy and Business Administration at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.
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