New PDF release: Basic Principles of Classical Political Philosophy

By Leo Strauss

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Tional tax-supported appliance for their welfare raises hopes of further ones. Indeed the Inore numerous public instru- mentalities become, the more is there generated in citizens the notion that everything is to be done for them, and nothing by them. Each generation is made less familiar with the attainment of desired ends by individual actions or private conlbinations, and more familiar with the attainment of them by governmental agencies; until, eventually, governmental agencies COlne to be thought of as the only available agencies.

Take a simpler case. A. member of a trades' union has joined others in establishing an organization of a purely representative THE NEW TORYISM. 17 character. By it he is compelled to strike if a majority so decide; he is forbidden to accept work save under the conditions they dictate; he is prevented from profiting by his superior ability or energy to the extent he might do were it not for their interdict. nd bringing on himself the persecution, and perhaps violence, of his fellows. Is he any the less coerced because the body coercing hin1 is one which he had an equal voice with the rest in forming ~ In the second place, if it be objected that the analogy is faulty, since the governing body of a nation, to which, as protector of the national life and interests, all must submit under penalty of social disorganization, has a far higher authority over citizens than the government of any private organization can have over its members; then the reply is that, granting the difference, the answer made continues valid.

And then, along with editorial assertions that this economic evolution is coming and must be accepted, there is promi" nence given to the contributions of its advocates. Meanwhile those who regard the recent course of legislation as disastrous, and see that its future course is likely to be still more disastrous, are being reduced to silence by the belief that it is useless to reason with people in a state of political intoxication. See, then, the many concurrent causes which threaten continually to accelerate the transformation now going on There is that spread of regulation caused by following prec, edents, which become the more authoritative the further the policy is carried.

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Basic Principles of Classical Political Philosophy by Leo Strauss


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