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In Liberalism Undressed, Jethro K. Lieberman returns to liberalism's roots to explain, in accessible and readable prose, why liberalism retains its power and appeal. He begins with the memorable thesis of John Stuart Mill, who drew from earlier liberal writers, which states "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." Building on Mill's well-known, but rarely analyzed, Harm Principle, Liberalism Undressed undertakes to show that this widely-accepted precept-"it's a free country; I should be able to do what I want as long as I don't hurt anybody"-can justify a government robust enough to deal with pressing modern problems of human harm and suffering while restrained enough to provide people freedom to live life on their own terms. A powerful reinterpretation of liberalism's foundations, it forces us to rethink our understanding of the meaning of harm and the proper role of government in our individual and communal lives.
Oxford University Press
Liberalism, Liberal Premise, Harm Principle
Lieberman, Jethro K., "Liberalism Undressed" (2012). Books. 1.