Front Page Titles (by Subject) PREFACE - The Liberal Mind
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
PREFACE - Kenneth Minogue, The Liberal Mind 
The Liberal Mind, (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
political issues are like discarded loves; once out of love with them we can hardly understand what made us so excited. Not so long ago, we were arguing over the issue of a planned economy or free enterprise, and liberals confronted socialists with identities fixed. But the life has gone out of such issues, and political parties find themselves nestling together around the same set of political principles. Some have greeted this development with joy. Some have accepted it as the “end of ideology.” Others have responded with boredom.
The aim of this book is to analyze the long tradition of liberalism. It regards the current fluidity of political boundaries as due to the fact that an enlarged and somewhat refurbished liberalism has now succeeded the ideologies of the past. It maintains that this liberalism provides a moral and political consensus which unites virtually all of us, excepting only a few palpable eccentrics on the right and communists on the left. Liberalism is a vague term. One of its difficulties has been crisply stated by Professor Knight: “It used to signify individual liberty, and now means rather state paternalism.” But this is not quite accurate. It now means both. It is an intellectual compromise so extensive that it includes most of the guiding beliefs of modern western opinion. It has even, in the form of Humanism, begun to work out an appropriate set of religious beliefs. The Liberal Mind is an attempt to state and analyze it.
I should like to acknowledge here the enormous debt I owe to my educators, both in Sydney and in London. My colleagues Hedley Bull and Bernard Crick both read parts of an early draft of the book and made many critical and helpful suggestions. I am sure no one will wish to saddle them with the prejudices expressed in it. Some of this material has earlier appeared in the American Scholar and the Twentieth Century . My greatest debt is to my wife, whose constant help, encouragement and criticism have profoundly affected both the style and the argument of the book.
London School of Economics
K. R. Minogue