On Liberty: Man v. the...
Milton Sanford Mayer
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On Liberty: Man v. the State

2.75 of 5 stars 2.75  ·  rating details  ·  4 ratings  ·  2 reviews
“A bas l’Etat” — The slogan scrawled on the wall at the Sorbonne in May of 1968 has appeared in appropriate language everywhere in the Western world, and it can be found, if less conspicuously, in the East as well. The object of the revolt is only incidentally the government at hand; there is a worldwide rebellion against The State itself, whether it be manifest as capital...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 1969 by Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions
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David Gross
Mayer looks at the historical conflict between government and liberty, and at the various philosophical, legal, and revolutionary methods people have devised to resolve it. He concludes that all of these have been incoherent and self-contradictory. The liberal ideal of a state that operates only within strict restraints, with the consent of the governed, and with a goal of maximizing and defending individual liberty is a pipe dream — and its most famous proponents end up unwittingly reducing our...more
Makes a lot of good points, though there is little offered as far as possible solutions go.

The books ends with an open discussion between Mayer, some of his colleagues, and students in which various solutions are discussed and though none of them survive the theoretical gauntlet, it certainly is an interesting read.
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Milton Sanford Mayer, a journalist and educator, was best known for his long-running column in The Progressive magazine, founded by Robert Marion LaFollette, Sr in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mayer, raised a Reform Jew, was born in Chicago, the son of Morris Samuel Mayer and Louise (Gerson). He graduated from Englewood High School, where he received a classical education with an emphasis on Latin and langu...more
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