2 Immanuel Kant defines autonomy as the capacity to give ends to oneself, yet he distinguishes between these ends and what we would call passions or desires. His philosophy ultimately leaves the reader baffled as to how the human subject is able to renounce its desires and passions for the sake of higher ends that it somehow gives to itself. In actual practice, what liberal societies defend under the pretext of autonomy and rights are not ends at all but individual desires.
3 The difference between rights and ends plays an important part in Pierre Manent’s studies of liberalism. A study of the difference between Hobbes, who reduces ends to power, and Aristotle, whose Politics takes those ends seriously, has a central place in Manent’s City of Man.
4 Arendt makes the matter clear: “authority precludes the external means of coercion; where force is used, authority itself has failed.” On the difference between authority and power, Augusto Del Noce’s essay, “Authority Versus Power,” is also indispensible.
5 Syme’s book stigmatized Augustus for understandable reasons. Syme was writing at a time when fascists such as Benito Mussolini actually were co-opting Augustus’s legacy. But ideas such as Syme’s in the neoliberal age serve very different purposes.
6 “Plutocratic anarchy” is a nice phrase coined by the poet Geoffrey Hill.