Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Just a Beginning

“If anybody wishes to know what was the influence of Rousseau in diffusing the belief in a golden age, when men lived, like brothers, in freedom and equality, he should read, not so much the writings of the sage, as the countless essays printed in France by his disciples just before 1789. They furnish very disagreeable proof that the intellectual flower of a cultivated nation may be brought, by fanatical admiration of a social and political theory, into a condition of downright mental imbecility.”

Sir Henry Sumner Maine, “The Nature of Democracy”, Popular Government: Four Essays (London: John Murray, 1886), p.75.

8 comments:

xlbrl said...

A humanist is a creature akin to a human, of which it makes an object of superstitious worship, but for whom it has little sympathy.

Recusant said...

And unbelievably, Rousseau's fantasy still seems to resonate in the indulgent minds of our wondrous intelligentsia.

James Higham said...

fanatical admiration of a social and political theory

Such that all men can be made equal.

dearieme said...

I remember being appalled on reading of Rousseau's discarding of his children. Only much later did I learn that that 20th Century saint, Albert Einstein, might well have done likewise with his firstborn. (I say "probably" because no-one seems to know exactly what he did do with the mite.)

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

For your Readers' ediification - a free PDF copy of the entire quoted text can be obtained at the Online Library of Liberty at

http://files.libertyfund.org/files/905/0241_Bk.pdf

Deogolwulf said...

Xlbrl, the man you quote is obviously a fool.

Recusant, primitivism seems to be quite the thing is sophisticated circles.

Mr Higham, quite so.

Dearieme, Einstein was no good with relatives. (I hope you can forgive me.)

Mr Colonial, that is good of you. I forgot to add the link to the book-scan at archive.org, whence I downloaded it some time ago. I have now added it. Readers now get the choice.

dearieme said...

Forgive you? I might very well quote you.

Anonymous said...

This website is made up of old, grumpy, impotent men who pretend to be profound thinkers. How sad they are with their limited views of life and how threatened they are with their deletions of other points of view. What is needed here are women's perspectives, which tend to reflect more open and global perspectives. We doubt, however, that the "all-knowing" men on this lowly blog would ever include intelligent responses to their shallow responses. Our criticisms of Curmudgeonry's old men's views have therefore been published in other international websites.