Twenty Years of Postcommunism: Freedom and the State

Issue Date January 2010
Volume 21
Issue 1
Page Numbers 136-143
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Is the state a force for freedom, or its enemy? Do building liberal and efficacious state institutions constitute a necessary precondition for achieving the state of freedom? Or is state an endemic enemy of liberty, so that its champion, while tolerating state as a necessary evil, has to always fight against it to clear greater space for liberty? This is a central problem—perhaps the central problem—for classical liberal theory and its crucial distinction between the state of nature and the civil state. Which is better for liberty: nature or the state?