The Origins of Free Peoples

This title deconstructs Anglo-American texts that posit freedom as natural to show that free people must construct their history and their Others to count themselves as free. The Origins of Free Peoples posits that free people are always being liberated and never already free. Free people make freedom paramount over justice, equality, or other value. The history of such people is different from their origins, which are always underway as free people must construct both their history and their Others. It is not simply that they become threatened; they must face the correct kind of threat (as King George III to Jefferson's Americans). The book examines how freedom is discussed in classic and contemporary Anglo-American texts, arguing the notion that freedom is natural and needs only to be guaranteed by limited government. Using a Continental and postmodernist approach, the book offers an alternative conceptualization of the discourses and practices of freedom represented in the writings of theorists such as Locke, Rawls, Benn, and Swanton. With its distinctive position in the discussion of freedom, The Origins of Free Peoples will appeal to political theorists, political philosophers as well as to those looking to understand the main factors needed to genuinely liberate a people.