Home › Forums › Discuss Freedom’s Progress: The History of Political Thought, Part I › Disappointing Start
July 1, 2018 at 9:36 pm #21281fbabooksalesMember
I’ve just listened to the first lecture. I hope succeeding lectures are not so replete with evolutionary dogma. I think it’s always best to start these kind of series from what can be definitely known through written records, eyewitness testimony, etc., and not from “Pre-history,” which is unknowable by nature. I consider the entire field of evolutionary dogma to be just one more of the tentacles of statism; destroy belief in an all-wise Creator who designed man whole and complete from the beginning, and the only god left is the state.July 2, 2018 at 7:02 am #21282gerard.caseyParticipant
I’m sorry you found the initial material disappointing. The early material is, of course, speculative. If you’d like to put your feet on more solid ground, could I suggest moving immediately on to no. 6, ‘The Sophists and the Polis’?
In fact, while there is some merit in following any history chronologically, the various major segments (in particular, those on individual thinkers) are relatively stand-alone and so can be taken in the order in which they are of most interest to you.
I hope you find the material from the Sophists onwards more acceptable.
With every good wish,
Gerard CaseyJuly 2, 2018 at 3:51 pm #21283fbabooksalesMember
I’m up through lecture five now and am enjoying the lectures. Regarding the fifth lecture in particular, the only major treatise I’ve ever read on political theory is The Two Treatises on Government, by John Locke. I’ve always agreed with Locke about the natural goodness of man, as opposed to the natural depravity of man as taught by Augustine and the established church authorities. Also, regarding the formation of the State, do you classify the establishment of our original thirteen independent States as part of the original system of federalism as having come about through the same processes and sociological conditions as the “State” as a whole?July 2, 2018 at 5:14 pm #21284gerard.caseyParticipant
I’m delighted to hear that you’ve started to enjoy the lectures.
You wrote: “I’ve always agreed with Locke about the natural goodness of man, as opposed to the natural depravity of man as taught by Augustine and the established church authorities.”
I don’t really want to go too far into theological issues but I think it is true to say that while some Christians hold that man is totally depraved (Calvinists in particular but also, to some extent, Lutherans), Catholics believe rather that man’s intellect is darkened and his will weakened without that amounting to total depravity. (Of course, I’m speaking of original Calvinism and Lutheranism, not necessarily of any current descendant of those varieties of Christianity.)
The original thirteen states came into being in a variety of ways but the end result in each was a system in which, to a greater or lesser degree, you can find the characteristic notes of the state: the claim to monopolise force and the right to tax its citizens. On this topic, may I recommend Murray Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty (4 volumes) which is (or at least used to be) available on the Ludwig von Mises Institute website.
I hope you continue to enjoy the lectures.
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