Aristocratic Liberalism: The Social and Political Thought of - download pdf or read online

By Alan S. Kahan

ISBN-10: 0195070194

ISBN-13: 9780195070194

ISBN-10: 142373744X

ISBN-13: 9781423737445

Even supposing the time period "liberalism" is generic to explain numerous social and political principles, it's been an extremely tough idea for historians to outline. Kahan makes major growth towards a normal definition, and illustrates a strategic form of liberalism through linking 3 nice nineteenth-century thinkers in one highbrow and ideological culture, for which he has coined the time period "aristocratic liberalism." Ignoring the nationwide barriers that frequently confine highbrow background, Kahan unearths similarities within the considered Burckhardt, Mill, and Tocqueville. notwithstanding none of those thinkers got here from aristocratic backgrounds, Kahan indicates how they shared a distaste for the hundreds and center sessions, an apprehension and contempt of mediocrity, a suspicion of the centralized country, an competition to the industrial spirit, and a pessimism of various measure in regards to the danger of imposing their targets within the close to destiny. Kahan concludes his learn via correcting frequent misconceptions approximately nineteenth-century liberalism and via discussing a typology of liberalism that would certainly spark a lot scholarly debate.

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Additional resources for Aristocratic Liberalism: The Social and Political Thought of Jacob Burckhardt, John Stuart Mill, and Alexis de Tocqueville

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27 Even centralization, apparently, was secondary. The powerlessness of political institutions was a two-edged sword, however, from the aristocratic liberal perspective. If it meant that no political institutions, no matter how terrible, could ultimately corrupt, it also meant that no political institutions, no matter how good, could breathe life into liberty in a country where its flame had burned out. "28 Institutions were powerless when not nourished by ideas and mores, and only the "proletarians" still had any illusions about the efficacy of democratic political institutional reforms, according to Mill.

26 Political institutions were of limited value either for good or for evil compared to ideas and beliefs. Tocqueville was shocked when one of his friends managed to draw the opposite conclusion about his thoughts: "Are you not familiar enough with my ideas to know that I accord only a secondary influence over the destiny of mankind to institutions? . Political societies are not made by their laws . . but ... " 27 Even centralization, apparently, was secondary. The powerlessness of political institutions was a two-edged sword, however, from the aristocratic liberal perspective.

89 Later this would change, but in the anti-government agitation of 1787-1789 equality was not the dominant passion of the two: It was not the hatred of social inequalities but the hatred of despotism which showed itself at first. And that makes itself evident among the members of the upper classes and in the heart of the most elevated bodies. 90 Furthermore, the moment before the meeting of the National Assembly was characterized by class unity: "Nobles, priests, bourgeois, all saw clearly then that it was not a matter of modifying .

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Aristocratic Liberalism: The Social and Political Thought of Jacob Burckhardt, John Stuart Mill, and Alexis de Tocqueville by Alan S. Kahan


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