Download A Student's Guide to Political Philosophy by Harvey C. Mansfield PDF

By Harvey C. Mansfield

Behind the day-by-day headlines on presidential races and native elections is the speculation of the polity—or what the tip of our politics might be. Harvard's Harvey C. Mansfield, considered one of America's major political theorists, explains why our quest for the great lifestyles needs to deal with the kind of govt we search to uphold. He directs our gaze to the thinkers and philosophies and vintage works that experience proved such a lot influential during the ages.

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They were at home in the republic. Fascism and communism, especially in their totalitarian forms, were alien to Americans. They were not only democrats, they were American democrats: suspicious of governmental authority, accustomed to the power that had no center. For them power was diffused among the states, one found it among aldermen and mayors as well as senators and presidents, in school boards as well as senate hearings. Democracy might prosper here as it could not in Athens. It was an American animal, and it had been domesticated.

On each campus debate moved from the classroom to the street and back again. These struggles led to broader movements: free speech, black power, feminism. Each campus felt, to 46 Decline into the West varying degrees, the conservative backlash. At each university, national and international controversies took on local form. In Chicago some students joined the large and active chapter of Students for a Democratic Society. Students from the university demonstrated with the Yippies during the Democratic Convention of 1968.

Democracy, republicanism, had a home in America. Americans had never known monarchy. They were, as Tocqueville wrote, born equal, and born to equality. They were born in a republic, and born for democracy. Their habits, their expectations, their prejudices were democratic. They were at home in the republic. Fascism and communism, especially in their totalitarian forms, were alien to Americans. They were not only democrats, they were American democrats: suspicious of governmental authority, accustomed to the power that had no center.

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