This is a short episode to share an interesting idea from a book by Benjamin Constant called The Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns. Constant was a French classical liberal writer who lived through the French revolution and the reign of terror. As he thought through what had gone wrong with the revolution, he came up with a distinction between two conflicting ideas of "liberty" that had influenced the people involved- an ancient concept of liberty and a modern one. I think his distinction is still useful today and can help make sense of the incompatible ways in which different people talk about freedom.
- The Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns by Benjamin Constant (1816)
Listen to Episode 224 (9 mins)