This is a medium-length interview with a number of juicy one-liners about the (D)/Meliorists.
Unfortunately, the Professor's outlook for America is a bit dim. But, like Kirk, Babbitt, Madison, (et al), he understands "why"--something the (D) chipmunks cannot do.
...[Leo] Strauss had studied ancient Greek texts, which emphasized among other
things that "within democracy there is good and bad, free and slave,"
and that "democracy can produce a slavish mind and a slavish country."
[Belloc's Servile State, e.g.] The political task before every generation, Mr. Mansfield understood, is
to "defend the good kind of democracy. And to do that you have to be
aware of human differences and inequalities, especially intellectual
American elites today prefer to dismiss the "unchangeable,
undemocratic facts" about human inequality, he says. Progressives go
further: "They think that the main use of liberty is to create more
equality. They don't see that there is such a thing as too much
equality. They don't see limits to democratic equalizing"—how, say,
wealth redistribution can not only bankrupt the public fisc but corrupt
the national soul....
Stop to think about this next statement:
..."The Republicans should want to recover the notion of the common good," Mr. Mansfield says.
Ummnnhhhh, ya' think? Now--to be clear--Prof. Mansfield defines "common good" in a different way than I might--but it is also a useful, if utilitarian, tool, and certainly should be part of the toolbox.
He does get the Big Things right:
..."Democrats have their cultural argument, which is the attack on the rich
and the uncaring," Mr. Mansfield says. "So Republicans need their
cultural arguments to oppose the Democrats', to say that goodness or
justice in our country is not merely the transfer of resources to the
poor and vulnerable. We have to take measures to teach the poor and
vulnerable to become a little more independent and to prize
independence, and not just live for a government check. That means
self-government within each self, and where are you going to get that
except with morality, responsibility and religion?"
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