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    Ralph Raico, La théorie libérale de la lutte de classes + Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School + Authentic German Liberalism of the 19th Century + New Individualist Review

    Johnathan R. Razorback
    Johnathan R. Razorback

    Messages : 11472
    Date d'inscription : 12/08/2013
    Localisation : France

    Ralph Raico, La théorie libérale de la lutte de classes + Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School + Authentic German Liberalism of the 19th Century + New Individualist Review  Empty Ralph Raico, La théorie libérale de la lutte de classes + Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School + Authentic German Liberalism of the 19th Century + New Individualist Review

    Message par Johnathan R. Razorback Dim 21 Déc - 21:53




    "With this final work, Prince-Smith places himself in the line of liberal thinkers who turned to the authoritarian state as a defense against revolutionary socialism. The first of this line may well have been Charles Dunoyer, in the period of the July Monarchy. Somewhat later, Boris Chicherin, the greatest liberal thinker of nineteenth century Russia — who, by the way, had been converted to economic liberalism by reading Bastiat — was coming to similar conclusions. Chicherin wrote, "Seeing this communist movement [in Russia], nothing remains to the sincere liberal but to support absolutism."

    This reversal, really apostasy — from radical liberalism to support of authoritarian government — might be called the "Pareto syndrome," after its most famous exemplar. [...]
    In Italy, liberals like Pareto, Alberto de Stefani, and Luigi Einaudi supported Mussolini's seizure of power. They did so not out of any inclination towards "anti-Modernism," but out of fear of the imposition of a Leninist terrorist dictatorship on Italy

    "Eugen Richter (1838–1906) was the most important advocate of authentic liberalism in the era of the German Second Empire, from the 1870s to the early years of the twentieth century.23 Richter was always a champion of private property and freedom of exchange, international free trade, the rule of law and respect for minority rights, and anti-imperialism, anti-militarism, and peace. Together with Ludwig Bamberger — a great admirer, again, of Bastiat — he was the principal opponent of Bismarck's welfare state. He argued against the growing anti-Semitism in Germany, to which Bamberger finally fell a political victim.

    From the beginning to the end, Richter denounced the rising socialist movement. Socialism, he maintained and argued in detail, would lead not only to universal poverty but also to a new authoritarian regime, more oppressive than the Prussianism that had gone before. For Richter, the liberal cause was his whole life, and in the end he sacrificed his modest fortune as well as his health to his principles.

    Eugen Richter is forgotten today, except by some specialists. Yet in his own time he was a famous figure in German politics. He was the brilliant if occasionally too masterful leader of the Progressive Party and later of the Freisinn, the political expressions of German "left liberalism," or "determined" (entschieden) liberalism, through thirty years, in the Imperial German Reichstag and the Prussian House of Deputies. He was moreover an untiring journalist, the publisher of a daily newspaper in Berlin, and of many books and pamphlets. His short imaginative work, Pictures of a Socialist Future, was translated into many languages and sold many thousands of copies. It also earned the animosity of the German Social Democrats of his time and of socialist historians ever since.

    Outside of a narrow group of friends and political associates, the opinions on Richter have been mostly quite negative. His "rigidity," "dogmatism," and "carping doctrinairism" have been repeatedly attacked.

    Yet even his enemies were compelled to concede him some extraordinary talents. Even Bismarck — his greatest enemy — conceded that Richter "was certainly the best speaker we had. Very well informed and conscientious; with disobliging manners, but a man of character. Even now he does not turn with the wind." Another political opponent — this time from the liberal camp — stated that Bismarck gave up attending Reichstag sessions out of fear of Richter's debating skill. Max Weber declared that Richter was able to maintain his unshakeable position of power in the liberal party despite his personal unpopularity because of his great addiction to work and in particularly his unrivaled knowledge of the government budget. He was the last deputy who was able to argue with the war minister about every last pfennig.

    Richter studied political science with Dahlmann and Mohl, and public finance with Karl Heinrich Rau, who was then at the high point of his economic liberalism. He began attending meetings of the Congress of German Economists and contributing articles to the press.

    Richter held fast to the Progressive Party when in 1867 the group that was to become the National Liberals capitulated to Bismarck on the constitutional conflict occasioned by the government's army reform bill in the early 1860s. The National Liberals remained the major liberal group throughout the 1870s, up till Bismarck's turn to protectionism in 1879. Then the economic liberals, led by Ludwig Bamberger left the National Liberals and for a while formed "The Secession." Soon they united with the Progressives to form the Deutschfreisinnige Partei, led by Richter.

    By 1884, Richter headed a unified left-liberal party that boasted more than 100 seats in the Reichstag. The Crown Prince Friedrich, the most liberal of the Hohenzollerns, was set to ascend the throne. It seemed that the hour of liberalism had at last arrived in Germany.

    But Bismarck's political skills saw to it that Richter's party lost massive numbers of seats in the next two elections, and when Friedrich became emperor in 1888 he was already mortally ill from cancer. Still, for another two decades Richter held fast to the same liberal principles, which appeared increasingly obsolete and irrelevant.

    The cornerstone of Richter's social philosophy was the interdependence of political and economic liberty. As he put it, "Economic freedom can have no security without political freedom, and political freedom can find its security only in economic freedom." Throughout his career he conducted a "two-front war," against Bismarckian "pseudo-constitutionalism" and a revived mercantilism on the one hand, and on the rising socialist movement on the other. This strategy of a, "two-front war," incidentally — of combating both the reactionary conservatives and the socialists — was standard for the European liberals of the nineteenth century at least from the time of Benjamin Constant. [...]

    In his last years, Richter was the main fighter against Kaiser Wilhelm II's policy of Weltpolitik, or global politics. Richter opposed German colonialism, as the French liberals opposed colonialism in Algeria, the rest of Africa, and southeast Asia. His position on the military was that Germany should have sufficient forces for defensive purposes. But the absurd and costly surenchère with France and Russia of military expenditures and the army build­up, Richter believed, was likely to create suspicion and hostility. Most of all he was a tireless fighter against the Kaiser's creation of a great German ocean-going navy. Admiral von Tirpitz openly recognized Richter as his most dangerous enemy on the question of the navy. But Richter continually argued that such a huge navy was unnecessary for Germany, and — moreover — would produce antagonism with England. In the end, of course, he was right.

    Richter retained a faithful, hardcore following to the end. The supporters of the National Liberals tended to come from the banks, protectionist big business, and capitalists who had interests in imperialist expansion. The conservatives drew their support from the protectionist agricultural sector. The Social Democrats claimed more and more of the industrial working class. Those who remained true to authentic liberalism were a much smaller group: the professional classes (except for school teachers and the clergy); small businessmen; skilled artisans; and the small, entrepreneurial Jewish community, especially in Berlin. One of Richter's fellow liberals described Richter's party as: the party of the little man, who relies on himself and on his own powers, who demands no gifts from the state, but instead only desires that he is not hindered in improving his situation according to his powers, and who strives to leave his children a better lot in life than was accorded to him.

    The authentic German liberals have fallen into total obscurity.

    "Among the "liberals" who voted for the Nazi takeover was Theodor Heuss, later the first president of the Federal Republic and the first leader of the Free Democratic Party."
    -Ralph Raico, Authentic German Liberalism of the 19th Century, 20 avril 2005 (cf: https://mises.org/library/authentic-german-liberalism-19th-century ).


    « La question n’est pas de constater que les gens vivent plus ou moins pauvrement, mais toujours d’une manière qui leur échappe. » -Guy Debord, Critique de la séparation (1961).

    « Rien de grand ne s’est jamais accompli dans le monde sans passion. » -Hegel, La Raison dans l'Histoire.

    « Mais parfois le plus clair regard aime aussi l’ombre. » -Friedrich Hölderlin, "Pain et Vin".

      La date/heure actuelle est Ven 7 Oct - 13:13