by Glenn Fairman 5/13/14
In fact, it is the political heritage of the classical political philosophers that is the wellspring of limited government. If one looks to Modernity for grounding in constitutional government, one must sift through Machiavelli’s amoral “virtu,” Hobbes’ brutal self-preservation, Marx and Hegel’s stultifying deterministic historicism and Nietzsche and Heidigger’s full blown Post-Modernist overturning of the West’s presuppositions and values.
When we finally come to grips with Socrates’ and Aristotle’s formulations of the city, we realize that in the absence of Philosopher-Kings, the mixed regime, under a rule of law comprised of strict limits and curbs on human power, is fundamental to both nature and happiness. It is imperative for us to understand that no political structures, whether ancient or modern, can eradicate evil and the forms it cunningly manifests: often as a democratic “Angel of Light.” Therefore, self-interest must check self-interest, lest the Utopian Sirens ultimately entice us away from prudent political liberty and moral virtue.
Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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