Commentary on Filangieri’s Work addresses the principal political and social questions that Benjamin Constant, one of the most important liberal thinkers of the nineteenth century, ever discussed. This translation will help give the work its deserved importance in political theory.
Commentary is founded on the view that government should maintain a strictly limited role in society; “The functions of government are purely negative. It should repress disorder, eliminate obstacles, in a word, prevent evil from arising. Thereafter one can leave it to individuals to find the good.”
Benjamin Constant (1767–1830), born in Switzerland, became one of France’s leading writers, as well as a journalist, philosopher, and politician.
Alan S. Kahan is Professor of British Civilization at the Université de Versailles/St. Quentin-en-Yvelines in France.