Liberalism: A Counter-History (Italian: Controstoria del liberalismo) is a book by Italian philosopher Domenico Losurdo. In the book, he examines the inner. Domenico Losurdo, Liberalism: A Counter‐History (translated by Gregory Elliott ), London: Verso, ISBN‐ 1 4 (cloth). Liberalism: A Counter History is Domenico Losurdo’s trenchant analysis of the question what is Liberalism in its historical development and.

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Liberalism is Dead Issue 2: This harshness towards the poor was reflected in increasingly draconian criminal penalties. In sum, this book is solidly documented, but not well structured and lacking an incisive original thesis.

Even such a murderous enterprise could secure the allegiance of a thinker like Martin Heidegger because its culture was not, in fact, all so cpunter-history.

Surely, considering its publication date, the evangelical liberalism of neoconservatism could have been at least touched upon? Liberalism was deeply suspicious of democratic hoards, arguing for anti-absolutism, which included democratic absolutism.

Key Themes and Concepts: Up From Liberalism Issue The last law against miscegenation was abolished in the state of Alabama in the year But before Domenico Losurdo was struck down by a brain tumor, counter-jistory Italian Marxist had been at the height of his powers.

Apr 16, James rated it really liked it. Would highly recommend to anyone who still has faith in the “principles” that continue to dominate counter-historu thought, and it should definitely be required reading for anyone who’s ever used the phrase “what the founding fathers intended. If so, what is all the guilt and embarrassment about? A Counter-History by Domenico Losurdo. Among the dominant strains of liberalism, he discerns the counter-currents of more radical positions, lost in the constitution of the modern world order.


The spread of a doctrine supposedly committed to ideals of freedom and self-government, then, seems to have been very closely bound up with practices of invasion, conquest, violent subjection and domination of foreign peoples.

It is surely significant that conservatism is mentioned in the book only once, very briefly and in passing. It barely deserves four stars, so this might as well be a three-star review.

Shows how quite a few liberals at the time hated the French Revolution for going too far in empowering too many people, instead of following the example of England and restricting power to a privileged few. The history of liberal economic theory is a hugely important aspect of the history of the liberal tradition as a whole — it is surprising that it is largely ignored. Losurdo finds the early United States, a racial state with a clear difference in the rights afforded between whites and even free blacks, to have been one such master-race democracy.

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Losurdo observes that the one-drop rule found in the Liberzlism South was more stringent than the Nuremberg Laws implemented by Nazi Germany. Essentially, the radical phase sought to realise the universalist principles that had been declared in the earlier period more fully and consistently. For the home country, then, Losrudo found options short of slavery by which to assimilate people into the category of property and to elevate the importance of property beyond any concern for the rights of their subordinates.


Nevertheless the book seems to come to a rather abrupt halt somewhere in the early 20 th Century and the rationale for this ligeralism off point is never adequately explained. You are commenting using your Twitter account. In addition relatively recent developments within liberal political philosophy are left out of the picture altogether.

Coumter-history research failures compounded on top of the stylistic failure reflect poorly on the overall project. Most notably one sees a commitment to principles of liberty and equality running through the history of liberal thought.

Liberalism: A Counter-History – Wikipedia

God this took me so long to read. Towards the beginning of the book, he hues a little closely to the reactionary critics of liberalism – the defenders of British imperialism who denounced the American slavers – although he does ultimately come to defend kosurdo American ‘revolution’ in limited terms.

These principles crop up time and again in liberal political philosophy. It is, in a sense, an inversion of the prevailing view in relation to this political tradition.

In the liberal approach human beings are, first and foremost, individuals. Notify me of new comments via email. Liberals in the 19th century therefore believed that hierarchal society was natural and good for those outside their community.