Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese
This lecture is a brief reconstruction of the history of Socialism and indicates some of the dangers Eastern and Western countries face in this, the era of post-Socialism. Its central thesis is that the loss of confidence in Socialism – a consequence of its patent failure as an organising principle in society – has not been accompanied by a corresponding rediscovery and rebirth of faith in the principles of the market and free enterprise: despite widespread lack of trust in politics and the efficiency of political solutions for economic problems, there is little willingness to return to the "laissez faire" principles which formed the basis of economic growth and political liberty in eighteenth-century Europe. The end of Socialism and statism is thus in danger of creating fertile ground for the growth of the Leviathan-state, that is of a state in which organised particularistic interests domineer, and in which public intervention is wholly random and determined by the relative strength of the interests themselves. To prevent this mercantilist-protectionist structure from being consolidated, the sole possibility is to introduce constitutional constraints upon the omnipotence of politics and governments. On this it is possible to create a consensus, and this is the task which awaits us in the future.