Liberty: “One Very Simple Principle”?

Himmelfarb, Gertrude.  "Liberty: "One Very Simple Principle"?" The American Scholar 62, no. 4. 1993.


The end of the Cold War has liberated us in more ways than we might have thought, liberated us from the tyranny of Communism and liberated us to reexamine the liberalism that is now triumphant. For more than half a century, confronted with the double threat of Nazism and Communism, the urgent problem facing us was: How can liberalism defend itself against totalitarianism? How can a society that is individualistic, pluralistic, pacific, devoted to private pleasures and domestic tranquility, prevail against an enemy that is collectivism authoritarian, militaristic, mobilized for power and con- quest? The defeat of Nazism and the collapse of the Soviet empire have conclusively proved that totalitarianism is not only oppressive and murderous; it is inefficient and fatally vulnerable.

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