The Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church, considers itself the via media (“the middle way”) between the rest of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Richard Hooker, an Anglican priest and theologian, cleared this path from a theological and philosophical perspective through his book Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, published in two sections in 1593 and [...]
What then saves us from this extreme individualism – the individualism, I might point out, that so many Tea Partyers advocate? Priestley answers:
“The great instrument in the hand of divine providence, of this progress of the species towards perfection, is society, and consequently government.”
How are legitimate governments created? Priestley tracks Locke again by stating that individuals entrust some of their rights (some police powers, for instance) to society and to government, and government in return protects society and individuals and helps them achieve their notions of happiness.
These are some of the Framers’ first principles of government, perhaps the most essential ones. This is Lockean liberalism, the kind of liberalism we all share. This is where the Declaration of Independence gets its notion of inalienable rights – rights that we entrust to the government but never fully transfer. The Framers’ political philosophy is based on the idea that we need society and government to help us improve ourselves.
Last year, Mitt Romney made Robert Bork the co-chair of his justice advisory committee. The appointment offers a window into Romney’s judicial philosophy and suggests that Romney would nominate people with Bork’s constitutional notions to the federal bench, including the Supreme Court. Most commentary about Bork is the usual red-blue stuff. Conservatives generally like him for [...]
The fireworks on the Fourth reminded me of Kandinsky’s Point and Line to Plane. He returns there to something like the synesthesia of his earlier opus, On the Spiritual in Art, in his discussion of independent straight lines: Moreover, independent straight lines can, on a given surface, pass either through a common center or on [...]