Modernism, Enlightenment, Capitalism

Angus Sibley (The Poisoned Spring of Economic Libertarianism, p. 3) points out the foundation of capitalism and economic libertarianism:

The libertarian doctrine of the autonomous individual finds its immediate intellectual roots in the atomistic philosophy of the modern European Enlightenment. For example, when the Austrian School’s Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1902) appealed in his writings for justification of libertarianism to “Western Civilization,” it was to this modern source that he referred, and not to the classical Western intellectual tradition. The mainstream of Modern Enlightenment philosophy argued that the human person is without natural organic bonds to others.


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