fbpx
Political Wisdom and Modern Politics: Absolutism

Political Wisdom and Modern Politics: Absolutism

Part One: Liberalism and Tradition | Part Two: Liberalism Triumphant Although liberalism triumphed in the early Enlightenment period it was challenged by modern alternatives. Parallel to the development of classical liberalism, various Enlightenment thinkers like Thomas Hobbes advocated absolutism. Interestingly, the “absolute right of kings” or enlightened despotism is sometimes associated with medieval civilization but this is badly misguided. The medieval practice of kingship was hedged in by custom, strong local authorities, and the power of

View Full Post
Political Wisdom and Modern Politics: Liberalism Triumphant

Political Wisdom and Modern Politics: Liberalism Triumphant

In the previous post in this series, I discussed the emergence of liberalism as the major modern alternative to the politics of tradition. Classical liberalism emphasized liberty, equality, and individualism whereas traditional politics had emphasized community, custom, and religion. Needless to say, liberalism triumphed and the triumph of liberalism is woven into the fabric of American politics. Prior to the Enlightenment, the primary characteristic of Christian Europe was sacramental order and tradition. Sometimes the medieval

View Full Post
Political Wisdom and Modern Politics: Liberalism and Tradition

Political Wisdom and Modern Politics: Liberalism and Tradition

For a variety of reasons we are in a time of passionate politics and clear thinking is at premium. In this series of posts I intend to develop some of ideas and principles that will help you to think more clearly and wisely about politics. It is best to start with some basic distinctions and categories. Anyone familiar with the history of political ideas should be disconcerted by the confusing and misguided way that various

View Full Post