"One of the more astute passages of the chapter says, " A revolution begins with relatively moderate objectives, led by men not altogether radical; but as blood is shed and hatred increases, the early leaders of the struggle give way to men more extreme and violent. The old order dissolves in anarchy, but no tolerable new order emerges.Presently confusion becomes so terrible that the recovery of peace matters more to the people than does anything else. And then there appears a "man on horseback,; a talented military commander often, who restores order at at the price of freedom. This revolutionary progression may be traced from the ancient Greek states to very recent examples in Africa."This is a standard historical recipe which is often claimed by both sides of an issue. In fact, often the leader proposing to stop the cycle incarnates it himself. This worries me from almost every angle.
It also leads to a question. What do you think of Oliver Cromwell? History is confused about the man and people either love him or hate him.
Was he a radical who was used by God to bring balance in spite of his ideas?
Was he the perfect leader and example of protestant goals for government?
Was he a devil sent to upset the balance of rightful authority?
The rest of the chapter deals with the philosophers of the age: Hobbes with his soulless Leviathan, John Bunyan with his Pilgrim's Progress, Thomas Browne and his Platonic distrust of the material world, and John Locke who stood for virtue, toleration and representative government and later could be found representing none of these on LOST.
I suspect Dana will take the time to blog about the ideas of private property found in this chapter which also hold the key to the underlying ideals of liberty and sound government.
I want to zero in on Kirk's drumbeat against radicalism and "fanatical political ideology." Perhaps the Colonists nearness to property and the land and their understanding of human nature guided by Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress which was known by almost all English people, kept them from being swayed, like the French, into radicalism rather than representative government.
Where are we today in terms of radical political idealism?
Finally, there is an interesting and informative discussion of Whigs and Tories and a point relative to today:
Have you heard that Prince Harry is desiring to marry a Catholic girl? The history of the ban on this for the British Royals comes from the 1689 Bill of Rights which states that "If a king or a queen ' shall profess the popish religion, or shall marry a papist' then 'the people of these realms shall be and are hereby absolved of their allegiance.'"
How important is that these days for the English people?
Will the rest of their Bill of Rights be in jeopardy with the loss of this clause?What is the state of Christianity in Great Britain today?