Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Right to Privacy - Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1
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The Right to Privacy - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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The Right to Privacy
“A Private Space.” Social Science Information (UK), 14 (1975): 41–57.
A number of social theorists have recently been propounding a gospel of community which suggests that privacy is not worth having. Hannah Arendt is often taken to be among these. But, in fact, she distinguishes between the public (or political) and the “social” She defends privacy against the encroachments of the “social.” “Social” here pertains to those theorists who reject Aristotle's view of man as a relatively private individual, a “political animal” whose personal sphere of independence is secure. Social theorists, by contrast, view man as a social animal; their aim is to deprive man of personal privacy and merge him into a communal family all of whose members' lives are exposed and open to the scrutiny of their brothers and sisters.
The classical statement on privacy is the Warren and Brandeis Harvard Law Review article of 1890. It stresses not only privacy connected with property and material interests but its spiritual nature as well, an element which American courts have tended to ignore. Warren and Brandeis wished to protect each person's private life against public curiosity. Precisely such a pressure of the mass on the individual is the reason for the assertion of such a right. Hence the ambiguity of the notion that “public interest” can override the right to privacy.
But protecting privacy by law of tort seems absurd since it involves a public court; rather, the right to privacy will be most securely enjoyed when it is widely regarded as a social right, upheld by informal sanctions of public opinion. This was the case in the nineteenth century, but is no longer.
Given the unsatisfactory legal guarantees and social aids, it seems now best to see privacy as deriving not from the right to property, but from the natural right to liberty—the desire to enjoy some space in which one can have solitude, peace, inner life, and closer contact with a few congenial beings. While public life (politics) is valuable, private life is equally so. “Social theory” which fuses them into a pervasive fraternity (or conceives man as a social animal—like ants—rather than political) is harmful. Old-fashioned despotism deprived men of public life; modern totalitarianism has robbed men of privacy.