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Liberty: The History of an Idea

Robert Garmong

Presented at: OCON 2003

Date: Jan 01, 2003

What is liberty? What kinds of actions violate liberty? If Hollywood puts a writer on a "black list" because of his unpopular views, has his liberty been violated? If a person cannot afford a car, does that restrict his liberty? To answer these questions––and to unerstand why liberty is now being eroded––this course looks at the origins of the idea of liberty. 

Robert Garmong begins with the birth of liberty in the ideas of Enlightenment philosopher John Lokce, then show s how holes in Locke's defense of liberty were exploited by subsequent thinkers t undercut the case for liberty. Finally, we see how Ayn Rand completed the argument John Locke started. With her understanding of the psycho-epistemological roots of the destructivness of coercion, she made it possible to define––and defend––liberty.


Parts: 5

Handout: none


  • CD, 2005 (En) - 288 mins - 5 CD set with Q&A