Sources of Civic Strength

Thomas Jefferson, whom Tocqueville considered “the most powerful apostle democracy has ever had,” firmly believed in “a natural aristocracy among men.” Members of this natural aristocracy are in principle distinguishable from those of the “tinsel-aristocracy” still clinging to power in the Europe of his day. “Artificial aristocracy” is “founded on wealth and birth, without eitherContinue reading “Sources of Civic Strength”

Sufficient Virtue for Self-Government?

In these days of increasing acrimony and mutual mistrust, how does one apply a prudent realism to politics without succumbing to a poisonous cynicism? Some have taken comfort in James Madison’s reassurance that, though “there is a degree of depravity in mankind, which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: so there are otherContinue reading “Sufficient Virtue for Self-Government?”