The Loyal Opposition

If I asked you to name the holiest of America’s founding documents, there’s a good chance you’d pick the Declaration of Independence. (The only other one even remotely in the running would be the Constitution.)

How well do you know the Declaration? We all remember those reverberant passages about self-evident truths (despite their being, if we reflect on our experience of the world, neither self-evident, nor, for that matter, true.)

Those famous signatures down at the bottom are also familiar to us all, with John Hancock’s extravagant autograph rising almost to the level of a national logo. (It stops just short, serving instead as the emblem of a large insurance agency.)

How about what lies between? A little fuzzier, perhaps, but most of you likely recall that there is in the middle of the page an enumeration of the Crown’s outrages against the Colonies: an encyclopedia of malfeasance so comprehensive as to leave no doubt in the reader’s mind that the Revolution was not only justified, but downright overdetermined.

Our opinions, however, are affected as much by what we don’t read as by what we do, and I have something here, courtesy of Mencius Moldbug, that I’ll wager you’ve never read, or even heard of. It is the Strictures upon the Declaration of the Congress at Philadelphia in a Letter to a Noble Lord, &c., written in 1776 by Thomas Hutchinson, the former Governor of Massachusetts.

You’ll find it here.

3 Comments

  1. JK says

    Finally!

    “Our opinions, however, are affected as much by what we don’t read as by what we do, and I have something here, … that I’ll wager you’ve never read, or even heard of.”

    I’ve generally considered myself “the water-boy” for ya’ll Intellectualists who [will probably keep] me confused and struggling (I, in a general sense accept it’s my duty to come in occasionally as jester, but also to prod ya’ll [TBH, One-Eye?] to go grab a beer.

    Anyway: as regards my Finally [admittedly unrelated to the Dark Enlightenment] I did read what you’ve wagered against Malcolm.

    I’ll admit I was however, focused on William Pitt.

    Posted December 4, 2012 at 12:49 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    My apologies, JK.

    Posted December 4, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink
  3. “If I asked you to name the holiest of America’s founding documents, …”

    If you had omitted the constraint “founding”, I would have named the Gettysburg Address. It gives me tingles up my leg every time I recite it to myself (in private, of course).

    Posted December 4, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

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