Anthony M. Ludovici

The Specious Origins of Liberalism

The Specious Origins of Liberalism: The Genesis of a Delusion. By Anthony M. Ludovici. First published as a series of articles in The South African Observer in the 1960s, this work provides a fascinating historical-philosophical analysis of the origin of modern liberalism.

Starting with an analysis of what liberalism is, this book reviews the ideological origin—among the upper classes of society—of the notion of liberalism, and then moves through its historical development to the present day, where, he concludes, the “worst misapprehension of all is to suppose that all this Liberal misunderstanding of human nature can possibly fail in the end to pervert and corrupt the nation and wipe out all the accumulated treasure in virtue and sanity which has been fostered and stored during former, more rational and more tasteful times.”

As the author says in the preface:

“Among the many remarkable changes witnessed in my lifetime, none has struck me more forcibly than that which has occurred in the relative importance of Religion and Politics.

“For, whereas in my childhood and youth religion was still the principal field where fervour and fanaticism reigned, it has been my fate to see political doctrines and ideologies completely supersede it in all adult minds.

“In my youth there was certainly hostility and rivalry between Liberals and Conservatives; but however bitter the antagonism, it never went to the length of branding the other side as “indecent”, “disreputable” or actually “despicable”. Yet to-day Liberalism has attained to this height of arrogance and presumption.

“This book is therefore an attempt in this eleventh hour of expiring sanity to expose (he false assumptions and truculent vacuity of these very tenets and principles, and to outline a constructive means of combating them.”


Anthony M. Ludovici: A Short Biography


I: Aristocracy and the Mob

II: Divine Right of Majorities

III: The Liberal Prescription

IV: Rulership and Responsibility

V: The Danger Signal

VI: Phantom Life-Belts

VII: The Sanctity of Private Property

VIII: Liberalism and the Reformation

IX: The Natural Iniquity of Man

X: Left-Wing English Utopia

XI: Religious and Political Sophistry

XII: Cloud-cuckoo Liberal Inhumanity

XIII: Heredity and Aristocracy

XIV: The Tone-Setting Élite

XV: Constitutional Monarchy

XVI: Royalty’s Sins Against Itself

XVII: The Bourbon Dynasty


XIX: Louis XV

XX: Aristocracy’s Sins Against Itself

XXI: Quality in Human Heredity

XXII: Primogeniture and Selection in Matrimony

XXIII: The Profanation of Private Property

XIV: Privilege and Public Service

XXV: Indiscipline in Aristocracy

XXVI: Habitual Anarchy

XXVII: Psychological Myopia

XXVIII: Fornication Without Tears

XXIX: The Universal Ache of Envy


About the author: Anthony Mario Ludovici (1882–1971) was born in London, England. Educated privately, his high intelligence allowed him to become fluent in several languages, and he was a leading philosopher, sociologist, and author. His topics included art, metaphysics, politics, economics, religion, the differences between the sexes, race, and eugenics. In addition, Ludovici was a talented artist, and gained employment as a painter and book illustrator. Eventually he wrote full-time, producing over 40 books and translating 60 others.

171 pages. Paperback.


Additional information

Weight 8.06 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.36 × 9 in

Anthony M. Ludovici

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