Wilhelm von Humboldt on State (Polity) - Dictionary of Arguments
Mause I 43
State/Society/Humboldt: Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) sums up the "free work of the nation among themselves" in his ideas written in 1792 as an attempt to determine the limits of the effectiveness of the state, "it is actually which preserves all goods whose longing leads people into a society. The actual state constitution is subordinate to it, as its purpose, and is always chosen only as a necessary means and, since it is always associated with restrictions of freedom, as a necessary evil". (1)
1.W. v. Humboldt, Ideen zu einem Versuch, die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staats zu bestimmen, Hrsg. Robert Haerdter, Stuttgart 1967, S. 192.
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Höffe I 322
State/Humboldt/Höffe: In his ideas(1) (...) and in other political writings, Humboldt sets narrow limits on all state activity. As a liberal thinker of the state, whom Mill holds in high esteem, he pleads for a free and functional constitutional state, but rejects the paternalistic welfare state. For a government that is committed to the physical and moral well-being of the population would fall into the "worst and most oppressive despotism".
Freedom: [Humboldt] calls for the fight against feudalism.
Equal rights: He stands up for the equal rights of the Jews, not only gradually, but immediately. For it was against the "true concept of human dignity" to treat someone not as an individual but as a member of a race.
1.Humboldt, Ideen zu einem Versuch, die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staates zu bestimmen (1792)_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
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