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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Conserving America? Essays On Present Discontents, Patrick J. Deneen (XII)

One of the most important questions we might ask, given the dire situation Deneen has been presenting regarding the West as we know it, is whether there is any reason for optimism. Deneen believes there is. As he talks about a "post-liberal" future, he cautions us not to think he disdains representative government as such; rather, we ought to be on guard against liberalism as an all-embracing ideology that excludes anything not compatible with itself.

It seems for Deneen that virtue is and has been the answer. Virtue moderates the tendency for dominance by democratic means. Virtue keeps the common good in view, even as we engage with politics to secure personal good.

The remaining questions reduce down to one: is it possible to have a political and philosophical revolution without notice, and without massive upheaval?

To be sure, I have been positively impacted by the professor's presentation, and I eagerly await more from Dr. Deneen.


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