Discussion: Rousseau and Personal Liberty

This was our first event in our new venue at Magdalen College. We had a wonderful turn out with a large variation of expertise on Rousseau from those wanting to be introduced to his views and those who knew his works well. This made for a very interesting discussion, touching on the meaning and function of ‘the state’, the role played by ‘general will’ and whether this is a realistic concept, as well as more sociological tangents to the role of the family and personal contributions to society.

Rousseau’s philosophy presents many conflicts and problems for libertarians. It was also particularly interesting to think about how Enlightenment philosophy written on the eve of revolution may or may not be useful in the globalised world of today. Thank you to all those who attended.

Eamonn Butler: The Pros and Cons of Ayn Rand

Our first event of Hilary Term saw Oxford Hayek Society receiving Eamonn Butler, the co-founder and Director of the Adam Smith Institute, at Oxford Town Hall. He gave a fascinating talk on how Ayn Rand’s philosophy may be useful in the 21st century. It was wonderful to hear such an adept analysis of Rand’s economic and social views including very insightful comments on what may be flaws in her works. Eamonn Butler’s comparisons to Rand’s contemporaries and other libertarian philosophers were particularly enlightening.


It was wonderful to see such a high turn out with so many people engaging with the Society and with the values that we support. Thank you to all those who attended.