Search Results for: henry sumner maine

The Torments Of The Damned

In a heartwarming opinion piece today at the New York Times, Thomas Edsall laments the internet’s toxic effect on what it calls “democracy” — a term that, if I understand the piece correctly, is to be defined as a political system in which two political parties, and a few other “dominant organizations” (here, the Times […]

It Ain’t Necessarily So

I’ve had absolutely nothing interesting or original to say for several days now. (This happens sometimes; even Rachmaninoff had almost nothing at all to say from 1897 to 1901.) So tonight I’m offering some excerpts from Sir Henry Sumner Maine’s Popular Government, published in 1885. I’ve mentioned this book several times before. As “red pills” […]

View From The Right

Nick Steves has posted this week’s reactionary roundup. He gave ‘Best of the Week’ to this essay by Mark Christensen, and it seems a good choice. In the essay, Mr. Christensen quotes Mencius Moldbug: All schools of libertarianism, whether Rothbardian or Randian or (nearly-stillborn) Nozickian, rest on the idea of limited government. Note the intrinsic […]

Today’s Assignment

With the presidential campaign now at cruising speed, I thought it might be helpful to offer some readings and reflections on the nature of democracy itself: what it really is, what it isn’t, and how it really works. Really, if you want to understand this contraption, what you ought to read is a book that […]

The Wire-puller

Sir Henry Sumner Maine on the locus of power in democracies: Political liberty, said Hobbes, is political power. When a man burns to be free, he is not longing for the “desolate freedom of the wild ass”; what he wants is a share of political government. But, in wide democracies, political power is minced into […]

About time!

Back in late November of 2016, the New York Times lamented, in its smugly named “Interpreter” column, that democracy was suddenly in danger around the world. (What might have happened around then that would have put them is such a frame of mind? I feel as if I’m forgetting something…) They called upon two boyish […]