Zoltán Pető

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National University of Public Service, Hungary

PERIODICS

THE FATE OF TWO REVOLUTIONARY PROPHECIES: MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT AND WILLIAM BLAKE ON EDMUND BURKE

In my paper, I would like to investigate two forms of criticism directed towards one of the most famous texts of the “founding father” of conservatism, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. The one is a critique by an adherent of radical enlightenment, the “proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft who sees the French “Ancién Regime” and the British system of government of the time both in a negative context and would like to replace them with strict political rationality and “pure reason.” The other critique, William Blake sees the French Revolution not as an act of political rationalism but as a spiritual renewal and interprets it not as a tabula rasa but as a return from an already too rationalist to a free and just state of existence. I investigate Wollstonecraft’s essay Vindication of the Rights of Men and Blake’s poem The French Revolution. In conclusion, I try to find the answer why the two aforementioned authors, (as the majority of Burke’s initial critics) lost their enthusiasm about the revolution, within the context of the Jacobin dictatorship and the birth of anti-revolutionary political conservatism defended and justified by Burke.

PERIODICS

THE LIBERAL CRITIQUES OF DEMOCRACY FROM TOCQUEVILLE TO HERMANN-HOPPE

In my article I would like to analyze a tradition created by Alexis de Tocqueville which Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn called “true liberalism.”  According to this political theory, “liberty” and “equality” do not complement each other but are in fact contradictions. In my lecture I would like to analyze how the words “democracy” and “liberty” were evaluated in the texts of the early liberals, how and why they began to be equated with each other. In this article, I will examine three representatives of this tradition in more detail: James Fitzjames Stephen, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.In the modern age – argue the liberal critiques of democracy – the lack of freedom is manifested evidently. Liberty was first eradicated by royal absolutisms and then by successive democratic revolutions.  As a result, the vacuum created was replaced by the modern state with Weberian “bureaucratic authority.” Modern state bureaucracy overwhelmed all sorts of public bodies, ordinances, provinces and other liberties for the sake of the abstract concept of “liberty.”  On the one hand, this was done in the name of equality proclaimed on the basis of parliamentary popular sovereignty, and on the other hand it was a product of totalitarianism. of the result these processes in the modern world – while liberty is constantly being eulogized and has been raised to the rank of an official ideology – there is actually less freedom than in any previous era.

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