Interesting lectures and rich program of Camp's second day once more confirmed quality of Liberty Seminars project. Let's see what has happend today at the Liberty Camp 2009.
Today's program on the Liberty Seminars has started with the lecture of Aleksandar Novakovic titled "The Philosophies of Freedom." Aleksandar gave very interesting view of the topic, and very exciting retrospective of the history of the ideas of freedom in the Western civilization. He begun with the rise of the idea of individual liberty in the ancient world, related to the work of Greek sophists. But, in a large amount, in that time, the success and influence of this idea was very weak. Collectivistic ideas of polis that exclude idea of private life, and in the intellectual field, the Plato's totalitarian ideas have prevailed. For that reasons, Aleksandar has placed the beginning of the idea of individual liberty in the modern world, especially in connection with the work of John Locke. Concerning that, Aleksandar recall the distinction of Benjamin Constant between the ancient and modern conceptions of liberty. Locke is so important in that history, because he was the one who strongly related the idea of individual liberty with the idea of private property. That is the legacy that needs to be strongly affirmed nowadays.
Bernard Brscic has two very interesting lectures, also from the history of ideas. In the first lecture, he talked about historical and philosophical roots of the idea of liberty, with the very instructive and interesting explanations of mixing two traditions, liberal and antiliberal one. Especially, the influence of the utilitarism and John Stuart Mill in period of decline of liberal tradition in the nineteenth century. That might be a bit a strange, for we have used to look at J. S. Mill as a father on modern liberalism. Bernard shows us that Mill was more important for history of democratic and socialistic movements in the 20th century, than for liberalism.
In his second lecture, named "The Rule of Law, Property, Rights and the Free Society," Mr. Brscic gave us a historical retrospective of the conceptions of private property in the history of ideas. That was very sad history, because it was in great part marked by non-understanding of the role and meanings of private property, instead of its understanding and affirmation. This is the case from Plato to modern times. The most important exception from this misunderstanding was the philosopher of so called Scottish Enlightment. It was the idea of invisible hand. This idea is very important nowadays for the affirmation of the tradition of classical liberalism.
Today's program continued with the screening of documentary by John Stossel "Is America #1"and discussions afterwards. The discussions were held by Tanja Stumberger and Matej Kovac. Dr. Illarionov joined the discussion that Stumberger held.