Ksenija Premur, MA


In order to comprehend liberalist political option in a whole and the principle of individual freedom in particular, it is necessary to put an effort in clarifying the notion of liberalism as it is routed deep down in history and the tradition of philosophy of politics and then proceed the research in the direction of comprehending a liberalism as an current political option in understanding the basic principles of liberalist approach to society as well as political regime...
In regard to the above stated aim of the present research, the work is divided into two chapters. The first chapter under the title "Historical development of the idea of individual freedom" is concerned with the tradition of liberal thought in the philosophy of politics as well as the historical development of the principle of individualism. Liberal stream in the philosophy of politics can be traced back in 15th - 16th centuries as the reaction to feudalist political, economical and social system. The liberalist movement was deeply grounded in two main ideas - idea of freedom of an individual and the idea of open and tolerant society in which every individual has the full right to pursue his own ideas and interest and thus live in the full freedom of developing all the capacities of human being. The liberalist thought was primarily the reaction to feudalism and its main two features - religious conformity and ascribed status. Religious conformity meant that political system of kingdom as the absolute rule of dominant feudalist class over the serves is routed in right believe over which the church has again absolute right to rule, judge and restrict the individual freedom, which took the form of orthodox believe. Thus, there was no clear distinction between church and state because they were closely interconnected in the idea of "Christendom" - orthodox believe with no individual freedom of interpreting and understanding the Christian religion was strongly supported in the Kingdom on Earth in the clearest form of ascribed status, which meant that individual has its place in the society by birth and not by individual qualities or potentials, neither by individual effort or the power and influence of individually conceived ideas. Formed in the reaction to the feudalist society, the liberalism was first political ideology, which came to flourish in the period of Renaissance and Protestant Reformation, which were the first revolutionary changes in the feudalist society and political regime. Thus liberalism took the form of defined political movement after those deep political, religious and social changes in Medieval Europe. The first work of philosophical importance in the liberalism was Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan (1651) in which he states that all individuals are equal by nature and thus no one has the right to rule over them. The state and sovereign ruler is the instance to which individuals by their free will grant absolute power in order to gain protection and security. That was the first formulation of liberalist idea in the history of philosophy of politics. The liberalist movement has been developing during following centuries in the work of John Locke, which main idea was that any state or government is unnecessary if not designed to protect individual's natural right to life, liberty and property. Those ideas and the ideas of natural equality of men, natural rights and government which has to be build up on the consent of citizens had strong influence during the 18th century and found their clear expression in the American Declaration of Independence (1776) and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789). In the following development, liberalism was concerned with the changes primarily in economical structure, which in the opinion of liberalist has to be structured in the way all individuals can freely put their ideas, efforts and products in the free market, and the problem of government, which was often seen as necessary evil, designed to protect individuals or serve as the promoter of their welfare. In addition to those ideas, the liberalist discussed the problem of voting rights and the rights of women.
The second chapter, under the title "Liberalist understanding of the idea of individual freedom", is concerned with main concepts of contemporary liberalist movement and liberalism as a modern political option. This problem area could be best seen in the three main aspects of analyzing the liberalist understanding of the idea of individual freedom and those are philosophical, economical and political standpoints of analysis. In that sense, the idea of individual freedom and the principle of individualism as the core and basic notions of the liberalist movement are analyzed from the philosophical standpoint and in the framework of political ideology. In the section of understanding the individual freedom the special attention is given to ideas of Imannuel Kant because of their importance for the solving the problem of worldwide political system. That problem is main problem in the contemporary politics today and not only in the part of Europe, but within the process of globalization as well. Ideas set forth in philosophy of Kant are nowadays challenging the political ideologies around the world, so to them the special attention is given in detailed analyze of the idea of word wide, global federal state.
Political ideology is concerned with the problems of principle of individualism, civil society, social justice, liberal state and constitutional government, which are the main notions of liberalist philosophy and ideology. All those principles are based on the main principle of individualism and are developed and structured around the main question, and that is how is individual freedom to be structured in the society and in the relation to the state. On that question two main streams of liberal thought are based. In other words, the question on the importance and the place of government in the open and tolerant society has lead to emergence of two main streams in the liberalist political movement. The first one is called classical liberalism and the second modern liberalism. Classical liberalism argues that government and state should interfere in freedom of individual as less as possible, while modern liberalist argue that state should be responsible for the welfare of men, for providing them social security and stability. That situation has led some theoreticians to believe that liberalism is not coherent ideology and that it suffers from contradictions and contradictory believes and presumptions. The truth is, however, that liberalism has gone under changes, which were due to political, economic and social changes in modern Europe and thus the theory reflects the praxis and is changing with it. The core values of liberalist thought, however, remained the same - emphasis is put on the individual freedom and the principle of individualism. In accordance to all stated, this section of the thesis is concerned with main ideas and liberalist understanding of main principles of relations between individual, society and state, and those are the principle of individualism, the problem of individual freedom, social justice, civil society, the liberal state and constitutional government. Those ideas are traced within the framework of classical and modern liberalism.


The root of the word "liberal" is derived from the Latin word "liber", meaning of which is "free". The word "liberal" and "liberalist" became a distinctive term with a various meanings, which were all connected in the same root of "being free" and "freedom". The usage of the term has become wide spread since 14th century in the medieval Europe with four distinctive meanings(1):
a) The term "liberal" was used to name the class of free man, which were neither slaves nor serfs. That class aroused in the feudal society later in its development and was the seed of new bourgeois middle class who was the one to carry out the revolutionary changes in the medieval society toward the arise of new, capitalist society.
b) The word "liberal" was connected with generosity as in "liberal" helpings of food and drink.
c) In reference to social and religious attitude, the word "liberal" was used to characterize the main social attitude and psychological make-up of the open-minded and positive person who often challenged the orthodox believe and was carrier of new values and interpretations of the Christian religion in the Middle Ages.
d) The term "liberal" was in general connected with the meaning of freedom and choice.
Although the word "liberal" was in common usage in the Middle Ages and in social and political movements that took place in the period of decline of feudalism and at the beginning of the new era in the development of European society, which is namely capitalism, the liberalism as an political option was not defined as a set of political ideas with distinctive meaning since 19th century. The first legal usage of the term "liberalist" was employed in Spain in 1812, and gain wide spread usage since 1840s throughout the Europe. Since 19th century, liberalism was tightly connected with the ideology, set of values and political creed of new bourgeois class in capitalist society. The very beginning of liberalist thought has its roots in feudalist society. Liberalism has grown as the opposition and reaction to the structure of feudalist society, the place and the role of Lords over the peasants and serfs and the role of church and orthodox believe in the society.

(1)See Andrew Heywood, Political Ideologies, Macmillan Press Ltd, 1992.

There are various definitions and understandings of feudalism as a political, economical and social system of the Middle Ages. Various definitions of the concept of feudalism can be differentiated from the point of view of the theoretical assumption about the nature and essential characteristics of feudalism as political, economical and social system, which prevailed in the Middle Ages in Europe.
It is obvious that the theoretical assumptions about feudalism depend on the research and interpretation of the relevant documents preserved from the period of rise of feudalism until its fall, and largely legal documents of that time. From that standpoint, the theories about feudalism can be divided into two main groups. The first group form theoreticians who declare that feudalism - although the term "feudalism" is construction by itself because it was never used in the Middle Ages - can be defined using dominant political and economical aspects of the system, which arises in 9th century and was developed and existing till late 16th century. The second group consist of historians who deny the existence of feudalistic system supporting their thesis with the assertion that feudalistic political, economical and social system is simply a construction based upon legal terminology used in 11th and 12th centuries, which is in theories on feudalism implied on a much more variated 9th and 10th century society and "…ended up creating a "feudal world" which simply did not exist, or which, at most, described small parts of France for short periods."(2)
Susan Reynolds, the author of the work "Fiefs and Vassals" in which she argues about the simply theoretical construction of the notion "feudal world", is the reaction on two main philosophical, historian and political definitions or understandings of feudalism. The first understanding of feudalism has been promoted during the French Revolution and later developed by Marxist. Given definition refers to "a social system based on a society in which peasant agriculture is the fundamental productive activity; in which slavery is non-existent or marginal but peasants are tied to the land in some way; and in which a small elite defined by military activity dominates."(3) The second definition of feudalism stated by modern 20th century Western and American historians declares that feudalism means "a system of reciprocal personal relations among the members of the military elite, which lead ultimately to parliament and the Western democracy." (4)

(2)Internet Medieval Sourcebook, the quotation of the work "Fiefs and Vassals" by Susan Reynolds, pp 3.
(3)Internet Medieval Sourcebook, pp 2.
(4)Ibid, pp.2

It is obvious that those two rival definitions of feudalism are based about certain philosophical and ideological assumptions on the nature of every political, economical and social system, thus understanding feudalism as well as the system, on the one hand, of exploitation of peasants by landlords or, on the other hand, as the system, which introduces the legal and political institutions dominant in the modern Western society and democracy. It is furthermore obvious that historian Susan Reynolds is partially right when she rejects the existent definitions of feudalist world primarily because of very defined assumptions, which are rigid and restricted to only the certain aspects based on much wider assumptions of philosophy of history and politics and ending up in a certain type of ideology as well. Although Susan Reynolds argues the thesis on non-existence of feudalist world purely on historians point of view, her standpoint can be broaden up with given arguments as well. It can be also stated that neither of given two definitions meet the requirements of good and all embracing definition because they lack the sufficiency of all relevant aspects of defined phenomena and instead of that, they give only ideological understanding of espied aspects.
There are two more definitions of feudalism and feudalist world to be considered. The first comes from the "Introduction to Medieval History - Dictionary and Thesaurus"(5) and the other one is derived from Catholic Encyclopedia. In the "Introduction to Medieval History" the definition of feudalism is given on the ground of the main characteristics of the feudal organization of society, thus stating that "feudalism is decentralized organization that arises when central authority cannot perform its functions and when it cannot prevent the rise of local powers." While the Marxist and modern Western definitions of feudalism concentrate on the mainly political framework of feudalism, this definition provides the understanding of organization of society, which is only one of the relevant aspects of feudalist world. The same goes for the definitions in Catholic Encyclopedia, which quotes following understanding of feudalism: 1. "As regards the duties involved in it, feudalism may be defined as a contractual system by which nation as represented by the king lets its lands out to the individuals who pay rent by doing governmental work not merely in the shape of military service, but also of suit to the king's court."(6) 2. "As regards the rights it creates, feudalism may be defined as a graduated system based on land tenure in which every lord judged, taxed, and commanded the class next below him."(7) It is obvious that second definition is based upon economical aspectof feudalism, which is very similar to Marxist theory, while the first definition is based upon aspect of relationship between the king and his subjects.


(5)Internet source under the title "Introduction to Medieval History - Dictionary and Thesaurus"
(6)This is the quotation of Palgrave, "English Commonwealth", I, 350, given in the Catholic Enyclopedia
(7)This is the quotation of Stubbs, "Constitutional History", Oxford, 1897, I, ix, 278, given in the Catholich Encyclopedia

Regardless of which of the given definition is regarded all embracing and sufficient for the understanding of feudal society, it is evident that there are well-defined and rigidly structured relations among the main and dominating classes in feudalism. The structure of feudalist society could be thus outlined in the following basic relations in the society of the Middle Ages:

1) The authority was divided among kings as the secular rulers over the land and subordinated classes of landlords and serfs and the church authority. Those two authorities were closely connected and the church authority had the right to make decisions in the secular ruling the kingdom. That was the case in Pope's decision on furthering the Christian war against heretics and Muslims in the 15th century, when the decision of the Hungarian king on the peace with Turks were repealed by the Pope, thus leading to the prolonging of the war of the crusades. The church had the all rights of defining the right and only valid understanding of Christian believe and imposed all available instruments of church and secular rule to implement it in the society. That resulted in the orthodox believe and religious conformity on the one side, and great influence of church over the king's political decisions on the other hand. Kings were representative figures of the medieval states and the constitutional power within the affairs in the country. Kings had the supreme power to make decisions in internal and external affairs of country. Church authorities were often called to affirm those decisions.

2) Aristocracy was the class of landlords and the rulers over their properties. This was military class, which served the king and fulfilled his needs for military force in the case of the war. The aristocracy had often inherited the land, bought it or it was given the land by a king. The landlord class ruled over the serfs, which were not slaves, but were closely connected with the landlord because they had to pay taxes for using the landlord's property in the form of agricultural exploitation of the land. The agricultural production was the main economical activity of the Middle Ages, carried out by the peasants and serfs.
In described structure of the feudal society there were two main features against which the liberalist movement reacted and in the reaction to it was formed: ascribed status and religious conformity.

1. In feudalist society there were no possibilities to gain another status in the society then the person inherited by the birth. The person could be born as a nobleman, a free commoner or a serf and that status could not be changed during the lifetime of a person no matter of achievements, efforts or a power of reason. Or, as the Terence Ball stated in the book "Ideals and Ideologies": "People may have been equal in the eyes of God, as the Church taught, but men and women of different social ranks were not equals on God's earth or in man's state."(8)

2. Religious conformity meant that there is no other possibility of understanding the Christian teaching then that declared by the Church. That gave rise to orthodox believe to which all new ideas or interpretations were considered as the threat to Church and its efforts to protect and save the Christendom. In the Christendom, there was no clear distinction between secular and church authorities because both are designed to rule over, protect and make strong the God's will on earth. Or, in Terence Ball's words: "The Christian Church saw its mission as saving souls for the kingdom of God, which could be best done by teaching and upholding orthodoxy, or "correct belief". Those who took and unorthodox view of Christianity - or rejected it altogether - thus threatened the Church's attempts to do what it saw as the will of God. To counter this threat, the Church called on the kings, princes, and other rulers of Christendom to use their power to enforce conformity to the Church's doctrines."(9)

(8)Terence Ball, Richard Dagger, "Ideals and Ideologies", Longman, New York, 1999,pp 65
(9)Terence Ball, Richard Dagger, "Ideals and Ideologies", Longman, New York, 1999, pp 65.

Liberalism wasn't, however, formed as a set of political ideas or a political systematic thought since 19th century. The rise of liberalism as a political movement was encouraged by revolutionary movements, which took place in the late medieval phase of feudalist society. Those were series of political, economic and cultural crises, which shook the very grounds of feudalist society. The first revolutionary period of change took place in the Renaissance in the 14th and 15th centuries with the humanistic ideas and glorifying the spiritual and bodily freedom in the attempt of revitalizing the ancient Greek ideal of free man. Renaissance ideas and ideals of free development of man in spiritual and creative domain was straightly challenging the rigid and purely formal attitude of Church in its understanding of obedience to the strict orthodox believe and God's will. Renaissance introduced completely new understanding of relation of man towards God. Man wasn't understood anymore as a humble servant of God's will on the Earth, but as an active creator of the God's kingdom on Earth. Creative capacity of man was understood as a God's gift, which has to be freely and to the full extent developed, nourished and expanded in all the domains in which it could be expressed. The ancient Greek ideal of free man living in a free state wasn't opposing to the understanding of God, but was more encouraged to make its full expression in the Church and secular world. The Renaissance was the period of prosperity in all the domains of human life, and especially in fine arts.
The second movement, which gave its part to the rise of the liberalism, was Protestant Reformation in 16th century. Martin Luther protested against the rule of paying the contribution in money to the Church, which then gives the salvation in the name of God to the payer. Along this rule, which was introduced by Church in the Middle Ages, the use of Latin language on the masses in the churches was another issue against which Luther protested. Or, in a words of Terence Ball, "when Martin Luther and other reformers taught that salvation comes through faith alone, they encouraged people to value individual conscience more then preservation of unity and orthodoxy. Without intending to do so, they prepared the way for liberalism."(10)

The crucial historical events and at the same time, political, social and economic crises that turned down the feudalist society and open the ground for arising the new capitalist society were the English Revolution in 17th century and the American and French Revolutions in the late 18th century. In many ways, liberalism was a political creed of the middle class, which was the carrier of changes in the society.
In the accordance to the all above stated, the historical phases of liberalism as a set of political ideas, as an ideology or as an political, social and economic movement can be divided in three main historical phases:(11)

(10) Ball Terence, Dagger Richard, "Ideals and Ideologies", Longman, New York 1999, pp 65
(11)On this both Terence Ball, the author of the "Ideals and Ideologies" and Andrew Heywood, the author of the book " Political Ideologies" agree

1) The rise of liberalism in 18th century was a reaction and critique of absolute power of the monarchy in the feudalist society. In place of absolutism, the liberalist thinkers advocated the constitutional and representative government. That kind of government suited the most interests of emerging bourgeois class and forming of capitalist society. As it was already said before, the liberalism was a sharp critique of inherited social status by the accident of birth, lack of possibility to change the status by effort and power of reason and economic privileges of aristocracy. Liberalist also advocated the freedom of individual understanding of God and God's will against the orthodox believe and authority of established Church. In 18th century John Lock argued in behalf of religious liberty and the minimization of the influence of state in the life of individual and society as a whole. The arguments that supported that political thought were the presumptions on natural equality of all men, their natural rights to life, liberty and property and government, which is founded by the consent of the citizens and which is designed to protect basic human rights to life, liberty and property. John Locke's political ideas found their expressions in the American Declaration of Independence (1776) and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789).

2) Liberalism in 19th century was a triumphant period of this political creed. With the development of industrialized capitalist society, liberalist ideas had gone through a period of further development within the course of historical changes. Thus the liberalist thinkers argued on the behalf of free market economy and the government, which was supposed to interfere with the free exchange of products and services on the market as less as possible. In the words of Andrew Heywood, "liberalist advocated an industrialized and market economic order "free" of government interference, in which businessmen would be allowed to pursue profit, and nations encouraged to trade freely with one another."(12) The described system of market economy was first developed in Britain and then it spread throughout the Europe and North America. With the development of industrialized capitalist society and economic order, the liberalist political ideas took new direction. While the liberalism was at the beginning the idea of equality of all men, their natural rights and natural state of freedom, the liberalism of 19th century argued that for the sake of individual liberty, government has to be understood as a "necessary evil", in Thomas Paine's words". Other liberalist thinkers argued that government is necessary ally in the expansion and development of individual freedom. John Stuart Mill developed his political ideas on liberalism in 19th century mainly in the course of problem of voting rights.

(12) Andrew Heywood, "Political Ideologies", MacMillan Press LTD, London 1992, pp 16.

His understanding of that problem can be summed up in the statement that every person has the right to vote, but in order to avoid tyranny of the majority, person with higher level of education should have more votes. Mill's argument against the tyranny of the majority is that "…not only individuals, but society as a whole, will benefit if people are encouraged to act and think freely. Progress is possible only where there is open competition among different ideas, opinions and beliefs - a market-place of ideas."(13) Among the vision of voting problem, in Mill's philosophical and political work there is basic understanding of individual freedom, which Mill comprehended as the being free to develop to full extent one's own potential and capacities. Therefore, the state and government plays role of the "nightwatch - man" protecting the life, liberty and property of its citizens, but it has to develop to another stage of being the promoter of the welfare of its citizens. The opposite understanding of state as a watchman of the natural right of every individual and as a promoter of welfare of citizens has lead to differentiation between two streams in liberalist political thought, and those are neoclassical liberalist movement and modern liberalist. Neoclassical liberalist followed the older views, while modern liberalist followed the philosophical course of Green in the understanding that state should promote the state of welfare of its citizens.

3) In 20th century, there is further development and strengthening of the influence of liberal ideas in the Western European political systems. "Those systems are constitutional in that they seek to limit government power and safeguard civil liberties, and representative in the sense that political office is gained through competitive elections."(14) In that sense, it can be stated with full right that liberalism is the dominant political ideology in the industrialized West. It has also spread to the countries of Third World as well as to the Eastern Europe after the political revolutions 1989-90. Although liberalism has wide spread influence in the politics of the industrialized capitalist world, in nowadays it can be hardly distinguished from rival ideologies, namely conservatism and socialism, which often took the liberalist ideas and made them organic part of their own ideologies

(13) Ball Terence, Dagger Richard, "Ideals and Ideologies", Longman, New York 1999, pp 66
(14) Andrew Heywood, "Political Ideologies", MacMillan Press Ltd, London 1992, pp 16


As it was stated in the Introduction, the idea of individual freedom should be in full extension seen from the standpoint of three main aspects and those are philosophical, economical and political views on the central problem of individual freedom. As it was clearly shown in the previous chapter, the struggle for individual freedom was one of the major agendas of social change in the Middle Ages. That struggle and the rebellion against restriction of individual freedom were accompanied with economical changes as the new capitalist system with bourgeois class was introduced with the stream of industrial way of production. Thus we can state that problem of individual freedom was routed in the philosophical reflection on the human nature in medieval philosophy. Philosophy is not only rational reflection on the main problems, which is the matter of academic discussion, but is also the main promoter of social changes and political movements in the Middle Ages. That fact is best reflected in the previously described social movements of Renaissance and the Age of Reason, as well as the Protestant Reformation and the English and French revolutions in 17th century. The impact of philosophical interpretation of the core of man's nature, the source of his freedom and the critique of social and political system in the Middle Ages were enormous. They gave the impulse to social change because people became aware of the nature of social system they were living, the interpretation and insight in man's nature, as well as the idea of what kind of social system would be ideal for the accomplishing all the rights they posses as human beings. In that sense, the arise of liberalist philosophical ideas and interpretations of human nature were the ground on which, besides objective economical and political factors, the people became aware of the core values and insights in their own nature and the ideal state in which they could accomplish what is best for them and enjoy freedom and basic human rights. The importance of liberal philosophical ideas thus should not be underestimated, but recognized in their impact and role they played in social change. The liberalism as an ideology is based on philosophical interpretations as well. The core ideas of liberalism are deeply grounded in the liberalist philosophy of politics. The section on philosophical premises of liberalism, which follows, is thus the main presumption of valuing the validity of liberalism as an ideology. After this section, when the main liberalist philosophical ideas are clarified, the section on liberalism as an ideology becomes more understandable and clear.

Thomas Hobbes is the first philosopher of Middle Ages who reflected upon the nature of man within the proto-liberalist or pre-liberalist standpoint. The main liberalist ideas can be found in his main work "Leviathan" in which he reflects upon the imaginary "state of nature". The first Hobbes presumption in this work is that all men are equal and naturally posses their own natural rights. That idea was the first impetus of liberal philosophical thought. In his work under the title "The State of Nature and the Basis of Obligation"(15) Hobbes states: "Nature has made men so equal, in the faculties of the body, and mind: as that though there be found on man sometimes manifestly stronger in body, or of quicker mind then another, the difference between man, and man, is not so considerable, as that one man can thereupon claim to himself and benefit, to which another may not pretend, as well as he."(16) The nature of man is thus comprehended as the natural possessions of both bodily and mind capacities, which are equal of all man. All men thus have the equal natural rights to accomplish their ends. Thus far the Hobbes's ideas are liberal. But Hobbes doesn't end his reflection upon men nature at that point. He invites his readers to imagine a primordial state of human society, the state, in which there are no laws, no restrictions to human liberty and no mechanisms by which the state can control men. The conclusion of this presumption is that such a state of absolute freedom, unrestricted liberty and equality would be the state of war of every man against every man. This conclusion of Hobbes's reflection on human nature is the reason why he is not considered as a fully liberal thinker. But the statement of men's natural rights and their equality is of radical importance in the context of 16th century feudalist social system. If the state of non-restricted liberty of each man is war, the Hobbes concluded that "…rational, self-interested people would have every reason to enter into a "social contract" to put themselves under the unlimited authority of a sovereign ruler."(17) Or, in Hobbes's own words, " By liberty is understood, according to the proper signification of the word, the absence of external impediments: which impediments, may oft take away part of man's power to do what he would; but cannot hinder him from using the power left him, according as his judgment, and reason shall dictate to him. A law of nature, lex naturalis, is a precept or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that, which is destructive of his life, or takes away the means of preserving the same: and to omit that, by which he thinks it may be best preserved. For though they that speak of this subject, use to confound jus and lex, right and law: yet they ought to be distinguished, because the right, consist in liberty to do, or to forbear; whereas law, determines, and binds the one of them: so that law and right, differ as much as obligation and liberty; which is one and the same matter are inconsistent."(18)

(15) The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, Sir William Molesworth, chapter 13 and 14; quoted from the Terence Ball, Richard Dagger, Ideals and Ideologies, An Reader, Longman, New York, 1999, pp.69-74
(16) ibid, pp. 69
(17) Terence Ball, ibid, pp. 68

(18) ibid, Hobbes, pp.71

In here stated Hobbes's ideas on human's natural rights there is one point, which is usually overlooked and underestimated. In the same manner as Kant did, Hobbes saw that human liberty has to be affirmatively and negatively defined. The affirmation of human natural rights and their equality is the core value of human nature. That is the affirmative statement of human liberty: man is free to do anything in accordance with his will, which does not harm himself or others. The relationships of one man with another are regulated by the social contract and sovereign ruler. That is affirmative conception of liberty, which is imposed into society by obeying the law. Negative assumption on human nature is that men's absolute liberty has to be restricted because the state of society in which there would be no restriction of human rights would be the state of war. That is the quality of Hobbes's thought, which is the subject matter of discussion on understanding the individual liberty even nowadays. It will be shown later that there is still discussion on affirmative and negative definition of individual freedom, which is the question of positive limitation of will in order to impose rightfulness and law in the society. Absolute freedom, as interpreted by many contemporary liberalists, has its limits in the border line of not-harming person or not imposing the will to others if that means the restriction of their freedom. Those negative definitions of individual freedom are connected with already stated classical and modern liberalism and different opinions of the role of the state in the life of individual. Thus we might state that Hobbes's ideas are not only pre-liberal, but in a sense they latently actual in present discussions as well.

Kant's political philosophy
Kant's ideas on peace and war are deeply rooted in his moral philosophy and his philosophy of history. In order to understand Kant's ideas on peace and war to fully extent, it is necessary to deal with broader aspects of his philosophy. It can be stated that Kant understood peace as a duty, which has to be performed either on the level of an individual as well as on the level of states and international relations. This main idea is rooted in Kant's moral philosophy. An introduction to moral philosophy is available in Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. Kant starts the argumentation of the understanding peace as a duty with the fundamental definition of good will, which is comprehended as a highest good or a good in itself. The following quotation confirms the understanding of a good will as the highest good, which is conceived as a good in and by itself with no need for further qualifications: "Nothing in the world - indeed nothing beyond the world - can possibly be conceived which could be called good without qualification except a good will. It is "its willing" which makes a will good; its effects or achievement of some end. An act, to be moral, must be done out of a sense of duty. This implies following some kind of law or command, which may well be contrary to one's inclinations. Such a law has its origin entirely a priori in reason."(19) In this statement there are three main concepts, which are basic for the Kant's understanding of peace and those are law, reason and duty. Supreme principle of morality is autonomy of will, which is, by above given definition, understood as a good will by willing itself. Furthermore, the sense of duty is what makes the good will law, which has to be followed and fulfilled. Or, in other words, the will of the rational being finds the law itself, so it therefore self-legislative. Furthermore, the following, obeying and fulfilling the duty, which is raised to law by its grounding in the pure reason, is what has to be understood as freedom in the ultimate sense of that word. Realm of morality is the realm of freedom and freedom is a postulate of practical reason. Therefore, pure reason and practical reason are interconnected by the self-legislative principle of good will, which is the ultimate realm of man's freedom. At the same time, fulfilling of duty, which is raised into the realm of self-legislative law and thus realizing the ultimate freedom and living in accordance to it is the most what human reason can achieve because the world of noumena, on the one side, is regulated by the moral law which cannot be proved by experience, so it has find the way of self-realization in the world of phenomena on the other side, which is regulated by laws of causality and can be studied empirically. That is the realm of practical achievement of freedom, which is conceived as acting from the sense of duty and good will as it foundation. In that sense Kant states that freedom is required by morality and causal necessity according to metaphysics and therefore the realm of freedom and the realm of nature are co-existent. There are no contradictions between the law postulated by pure reason and fulfilled in the realm of practical reason and the law of the nature on the other side. Deeply rooted in the nature of reason in its speculative purpose is the natural necessity. Or, as Kant puts it in the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals: "Philosophy must therefore assume that no true contradiction will be found between freedom and natural necessity in the same human actions, for it cannot give up the concept of nature any more then that of freedom." The above given statements are the briefly stated basic foundations of Kant's moral philosophy. The main question with which the present essay is concerned is the relationship of Kant's moral philosophy and his political ideas, namely the ideas on peace and war. There were different opinions of various authors on the given question of understanding the Kant's political philosophy. Some authors considered his political ideas as integral part of his philosophy, but some of them believed that his political ideal were of no particular philosophical importance. In this essay the effort has been made to clarify this opposite opinions and show that Kant's political philosophy has to be understood as an integral part and even as final consequences of his metaphysics of morals.

(19) Immanuel Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Bobbs- Merrill, 1959, p. 9

Kant's ideas on peace and war, as the foundations of his political philosophy, are stated and elaborated in his essay Perpetual Peace. The essay is written in the form of treaty and it includes preliminary articles, definitive articles and supplements. The preliminary articles contain negative conditions or preconditions of peace. Thus, in the first article Kant states: "No Treaty of Peace Shall Be Held Valid in Which There is Tacitly Reserved Matter for a Future War" and furthermore in the following articles: "No Independent States, Large or Small, Shall Come under the Dominion of Another State by Inheritance, Exchange, Purchase or Donation". In the article 6 Kant is describing the situation between the states during the war: "No State Shall, during War, Permit Such Acts of Hostility Which Would Make Mutual Confidence in the Subsequent Peace Impossible: Such Are the Employment of Assassins, Poisoners, Breach of Capitulation, and Incitement to Treason in the Opposing State."
It is obvious that those shortly quoted articles have one domain presumption in common and that is that all of them can be deduced from the moral law. Kant realizes that the creation of a structure of peace, the reign of law in international relations, presupposes mutual trust among peoples. Openness and fairness is essential in building trustful relations. And thus the state of peace among the states is routed in the respecting of the moral law and acting in accordance with it, because that is the preliminary and basic presumption of moral human life, which is the fulfillment of basic needs of human being and those are safety, security and fulfillment of nature laws as well. Moral law is routed in the law of nature as among individuals in the society, as well as among the states. Or, in Kant's words: "Reason in its speculative purpose finds the way of natural necessity more well-beaten and usable than that of freedom: but in its practical purpose the footpath of freedom is the only one on which it is possible to make use of reason in our conduct. Hence it is impossible for the subtlest philosophy, as for the commonest reasoning, to argue freedom away. Philosophy must therefore assume that no true contradiction will be found between freedom and natural necessity in the same human actions, for it cannot give up the concept of nature any more than that of freedom."(20)The state of nature is one of war, or at least potential war. But as individuals can create peace by forming civic societies, so can states. Kant's definitive peace takes the form of a federation of republican states. "The Civil Constitution of Every State Should be Republican", says the first definitive article. A republican constitution is based on the concept of law, the consent of citizens, representation, and "the separation of the executive power (the administration) from the legislative." Kant's final article is that "The Law of World Citizenship Shall Be Limited to Conditions of Universal Hospitality."
Those are in brief the main Kant's political ideas. Ideas on the political regime, universal political order in the world and relations between states are furthermore seen as the part of nature's secret plan. Here again we find the close connection between the structure of pure and practical reason and necessity of nature laws. The world of phenomena, according to Kant, has a built-in purpose or telos. In history, progress may be difficult, but it is inevitable. Nature wills that man shall progress from barbarism to life under reasonable laws. Thus Kant states that "the achievement of universal civic society is the greatest problem for the human race."(21) How is it possible to achieve that greatest nature's plan? Nature brings integration, but it is integration, which does not erase all differences between peoples. Nature is against a complete integration into a world monarchy. "She employs two means to separate people and to prevent them from mixing: differences of language and of religion."(22) In the conclusion, Kant's political ideas can be summarized in the following interconnected statements on the nature of freedom and causal necessity: Freedom is required by morality and causal necessity according to metaphysics. Therefore, the realm of freedom and the realm of nature must co-exist. The way of formulating the moral law is that "every rational being must be treated as "end in itself".(23)
As individuals in civic society should treat one another as the end and goal in itself, so the states must fulfill the international laws and also act one to another as the respecting the end in itself. Universal society is thus the ultimate fulfillment of demands of pure and practical reason, freedom and natural laws in perfect accordance one with another.

(20) ibid, 75
(21)Immanuel Kant, "Idea for a Universal History", Edited by Lewis White Beck, 11
(22)"Perpetual Peace", 31.
(23)Foundations of Metaphysics of Morals", 49


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Basic understanding of natural or human rights of every man without discrimination of any kind - gender, race, class, religion, political creed - is the main and dominant liberal political creed and at the same time creed, which distinguish liberal political option from other political creeds. This understanding of individual freedom and natural or human rights can be traced back in Middle Ages in pre-liberal thought of philosopher Thomas Hobbes and is further developed in the course of historical, philosophical and political development of liberalism. The emphasis in the present final thesis is thus put on the historical and philosophical premises of development of the liberalism with special concern to Hobbes's and Kant's political philosophy, which are usually overviewed in the development of liberalist philosophy .