Beyond Liberty and Property: The Process of Self-Recognition by J.A.W. Gunn

By J.A.W. Gunn

The topics explored comprise political liberty, "legal tyranny," defences of impression in govt, attractiveness of the competition, and the improvement of natural different types of political research - the latter in a bankruptcy that explodes the organization usually presumed among organicism and conservative modes of idea. A bankruptcy at the "Fourth property" examines the sluggish strategy of legitimation of "interests," culminating within the effect of the clicking. relevant to the account of recent political forces and their popularity is the assumption of public opinion, which developed in this interval from the inspiration of public spirit. Chapters at the classical legacy of the century and at the High-Tories research backward-looking points of the political cultrure. Tracing the power impression of High-Toryism, Gunn questions the normal knowledge approximately eighteenth-century ideological consensus quite often and Whig team spirit particularly. He demonstrates that theories of presidency from the 17th century survived to some extent now not formerly admitted through sleek scholarship.

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Extra resources for Beyond Liberty and Property: The Process of Self-Recognition in Eighteenth-Century Political Thought

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33. , A Cordial for Low-Spirits (London, [1750]), p. 205. 34 Thus the reader encounters some interesting speculations about the way in which rulers enhanced their authority through grand titles and how other merchants of illusion used words to create credit and generate economic activity, often relying, in the fashion of the time, on French terms to lend a meretricious glamour to their activity. The time was ripe for insights about the contribution of illusion to the maintaining of power; government, ostensibly free, seemed to grow more arbitrary every day, while the terrible power of opinion created and destroyed fortunes.

57 Especially memorable was his portrait of new forms of tyranny, taken from his Private Men s Duty. There were telling phrases too in his Balance of Power: "The beginnings of arbitrary power are always light and easy. " "Opinion is the principal support of power ... "58 With the obvious familiarity of the public with the basic assumptions of legal tyranny, some writers suggested only the main elements, leaving to the reader the business of spelling out details. This was obviously so when journalists said after 1745 that had the pretender been successful, the nation would have no Parliament or worse than none.

Again, the rhetoric of civic virtue seemed to stand in the path of history. A more sympathetic viewpoint would emphasize, however, that in seeking a model for political life in the ancient world, the tradition actually emphasized those elements of politics that had emerged at the end of the seventeenth century. Again and again, the writers on legal tyranny insisted that they were not offering government based on force as the substitute for rule through influence. The Old Whigs and their ideological descendants liked neither, and so it became all the more plausible to seek their ideal in the distant, not the recent, past.

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