Scholarly attempts to explain the development of liberal individualism over the course of modern history have tended to focus on key principles and doctrines. The emergence and spread of individualist ideas has been scrutinised to an extent, but with insufficient attention to the manner in which they have been bound up with the opportunities and obstacles to accumulation at different stages of capitalist development. To this end this book shows that as the capitalist system develops, continuously generating new interests and societal conflicts, the theories, doctrines and moral precepts comprising liberal individualism change and evolve, while its vital social function is preserved.
Micheal O'Flynn, Ph.D. (2005) in Philosophy, University of Limerick, is an Associated Lecturer in Social Science with the Open University and teaches sociology part-time at the University of Limerick. He has published articles for
Critique: Journal of Socialist Ideas,
EU Reporter and book reviews for
Review of Radical Political Economy and Millennium.
Table of contents
1. The Decline of Feudal Ideas
2. The Individualism of Hobbes and Locke
3. Individualism, Religion and Science
4. The Th eory of Population Pressure
5. Doctrines of Social Evolution
6. Individualism and the Question of Democracy
7. The Ideas of F.A. Hayek
8. Neoliberalism and Capital Accumulation
9. Economic Downturn and Decline of Free Market
In addition to readers of political science and sociology, the manuscript will interest all those concerned with the development of political ideas in their connection with socio-economic change, particularly the principles and doctrines most consistent with the requirements of capital accumulation.