Tipping Points

April 3, 2006

Unlimited, Indeed

Filed under: Uncategorized — thricearmed @ 4:23 pm

The British newspaper Guardian's online version, Guardian Unlimited, ran a story today titled "A Dangerous Lust for Power." In it, they bring up the concern that Britain's constitution is unwritten. They, of course, simply use it to attack Tony Blair, but it struck me as an interesting reflection on the truth of Montesquieu's assertion that:

[the love of equality and one's country] is the spring which sets the republican government in motion, as honor is the spring which gives motion to monarchy.

Back in the old days, they didn't need a written constitution, because honor was still one of the main springs in the societal clock. Now, as they shed the last vestiges of monarchy and move towards socialism (societally), they also shed honor as a primary motivator. There will probably never again be in England a "charge of the light brigade." Everyone is just too sensible.

But there is a worrisome part to Montesquieu's assertion, and that is that love of equality and of one's country, what he calls political virtue, is dangerously lacking in American society. Whether the lack of political virtue is a symptom or a cause of change towards a lower form of government, I do not know. However, it would seem that within the next hundred years or so we are heading towards a great shift in political thought. I pray that it will be an upwards one.


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