18th/19th Franco-Swiss author


Benjamin Constant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque (October 25, 1767 - December 8, 1830) was a Swiss-born thinker, writer and French politician. ..."


25 Oct 1767, in Lausanne, Switzerland


8 Dec 1830, in Paris, France


How Nationalism and Socialism Arose from the French Revolution, by Dan Sanchez, 12 Apr 2017
Examines how three crucial ideas (liberalism, nationalism and socialism) emerged around the same time (18th and 19th century) and how they depended on the rise of the modern people's state
"After the fall of Napoleon and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, one of France's leading liberals addressed the question: what went so wrong? Benjamin Constant answered that many of the Revolution’s 'evils' stemmed from a confusion between two kinds of liberty. In an 1819 essay, he discussed, 'The Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns.' According to Constant, the liberty of the modern world was individual freedom. This was the idea of liberty that emerged from the European towns with the rise of private commerce and industry."
Individual Liberty and Civil Society, by Richard M. Ebeling, Feb 1993
Reflects on Benjamin Constant's lecture on what liberty meant to the ancient Greeks vs. the 19th century Europeans and Americans and the 20th century reversion to statism
"In 1819, the French classical liberal, Benjamin Constant, delivered a lecture in Paris entitled, 'The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Modems.' ... while a concern for the preservation of political liberty was essential to the preservation of individual liberty, Constant believed that politics was a distraction from the proper affairs of free men, and these proper affairs were the peaceful pursuit and cultivation of their personal, family, commercial and voluntary societal relationships."
Related Topics: Individual Liberty, Society