Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton

A review of a book whose author "argues that these classical liberal thinkers did not, by any stretch, subscribe to the secularist views of some of their liberal contemporaries," but rather "found compelling religious justifications for liberty" — Ralph Raico on Religion, Lord Acton, and Classical Liberalism. Reviewer Chris Oppermann:
    Contrary to the assertions of some critics of classical liberalism, they also did not oppose all authority: They recognized the essential value of family, church, and other vibrant and flourishing social institutions. These possess what I would venture to call a “natural authority,” a kind of authority and social standing that naturally arises from the workings of a free society (as distinct from the coercive authority of a government or state). Human beings congregate in these groups precisely because we are social animals, and because we identify these institutions as conducive to our flourishing.

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.