Ancien Régime: Final Thoughts II by Thomas Fleming • May 12, 2011 • Printer-friendly
Tocqueville has offered many insights into the origins and legacy of the French Revolution. In conclusion, perhaps, we should consider three of his main points.
I He rejects the interpretation that the FR was the culmination of a conspiracy to destroy Christianity and/or the Catholic Church;
II He sees the FR as a continuation of the Ancien Régime’s centralization of France and thinks that centralization weakened and undermined all local administration, making it impossible for local communities to govern themselves;
III He regards egalitarian democracy as a rabid force which, if left unchecked by any principles of merit, protection of property, or regard for liberty, will become tyrannical. He is thus a moderate democratic republican and thinks that basically classical liberal principles can be used to tame the beast.
In the next week or two, I am happy to give my views and am putting out a call for your opinions.
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