Appeared in Winter 1990, Vol. XVI, No. 4

The spirit of modern liberal social and political thought, in the tradition of John Locke, Adam Smith, and Frederick A. Hayek, has been recently brought to bear in support of the fundamental notion of persons as centers of creative freedom, ideally formed in the “virtue of enterprise” (M. Novak, Free Persons and the Common Good, 1989). Concurrently there is widespread recovery of the neglected reality of community, even to the point of a re-emergence of the concept of the common good into public discourse. It would be hard to name a thinker who was so uncompromisingly committed to both the creative, enterprising freedom of individual persons and the establishment of a common good not reducible to the particular goods of individuals as was Yves Simon. The central, organizing concept in Simon’s social and political theory is authority. Indeed, authority is the “arch-premise” in Simon’s integration of a robust personal freedom so esteemed in the liberal tradition and an integral, hierarchical community so central to classical political thought.

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