Wednesday, September 28, 2011

p. 42 & p. 44 The Conservative Foundation of the Liberal Order, Mahoney

Tocqueville identified something in Christianity that made it a political necessity, but that political necessity was previously an object of ridicule in France. What was that necessity?


As Manent argues, conservative-minded liberals such as Constant and Tocqueville found for religion 'its specifically modern political and moral credibility.' They praised it 'for the very reason it was formerly and even recently criticized: it is something above the human will.'

Which is why Solzhenitsyn was making a philosophical claim and not one merely rooted in faith, when he said that totalitarianism arose in no small part because "men had forgotten God." (p. 44)

And it's what Whitaker Chambers was talking about when he said that the crisis of communism exists to the extent that it has failed to free the people it rules from a belief in God. The crisis of the West exists, Chambers said, to the extent that it is indifferent to God.

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