Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

More on the Declaration and Christianity

To complement Masugi’s latest blog, I recommend Tom West’s Witherspoon Lecture entitled ’Vindicating John Locke.’

West explains how Locke works out in theory what Masugi calls "the notion that Christianity is the practical expression of natural-rights philosophy."

Discussions - 2 Comments

"A narrow focus on the rights of the individual at the expense of moral conditions of liberty, or on morality and community at the expense of individual rights, divides today’s conservatives and liberals not only from each other but also among themselves." I don’t know how the Claremont Cosmology or anyone else reads Rousseau’s Social Contract, but in my opinion Rousseau examines nothing more than the moral conditions of liberty and free will in this very context. Before Conservatives hang Rousseau perhaps they should reread the Social Contract. Citizenship, morality, the Northwest ordinance advocating education and religion... Rousseau anyone?
As for those who might cling to Burke... does anyone really find it coincidental that he praises the British Constitution without ever mentioning its founders? Can someone be serious? It seems to me that saying that citizenship and liberty are two sides of the same coin is the same as saying that Jefferson was somehow not (alienated?) divided between Locke and Rousseau. The political scientist that explains this solves the problem. As my original post on this subject mentioned, I suggest we take Jefferson as a whole without trying to explain away the inconveniences.

Forgive me for playing loose with theory(Blame Hegel). But wouldn’t it be somewhat interesting to view Jefferson as the completion or synthesis of a master slave dialectic between Locke and Rousseau? Between Bourgouis and Citizen, between Capitalism and Christianity. On a practical front perhaps the war between paleo and neo-conservatives, suggest that such a synthesis requires countinued renewal and discussion.

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