Family and the Politics of Moderation
Private Life, Public Goods, and the Rebirth of Social Individualism
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: Baylor University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Introduction: A Familial Fulcrum
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The political project is a curious thing—always imperfect and never complete— because it is predicated on the continuous task of balancing the claims of individuals and the claims of the communities in which they live. The success or failure of this political project, creating harmony out of a...
Chapter 1. Contemporary Liberalism, Human Nature, and the Family
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The argument that the family serves as a permanent fulcrum that balances individuals and communities must first respond to a potentially serious criticism. Thinkers on the left argue that the family is a social construct or a mere contract between individuals and that it is therefore radically flexible. The...
Chapter 2. Marxism, Collectivism, and the Family
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Collectivist ideologies have been adversarial to the family since Plato’s Republic first observed the fracturing effect of family ties on collective commitments. The family creates multigenerational ties that bind people to the habits, customs, and property of the past. Egalitarian collectives rely...
Chapter 3. Ayn Rand, Individualism, and the Family
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Individualist ideologies have no easier a time incorporating the existence of natural groups like the family than do collectivist ideologies. In recent years, Locke’s contractual treatment of the family, for example, has been criticized as leading to an isolating individualism, and numerous critiques of the individualist...
Chapter 4. Montesquieu, Burke, and the Moderate Family
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While Marxists and Randians fear the family because of the way it challenges ideological purity, other thinkers have championed the family as one of the bastions of moderate political systems. The works of Montesquieu and Edmund Burke are emblematic of the eighteenth-century attempt to balance...
Chapter 5. Family Forms and the Social Individual
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Not all family forms facilitate the social individualism that Burke and Montesquieu believe to be the foundation for political moderation. A family that supports moderation must itself be moderate, which means it must balance the needs of the individuals within the family against the needs of...
Conclusion: Political Moderation and the Familial Fulcrum
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The ideological extremism that characterized the grand politics of the twentieth century has been moderated in some ways by the end of the world wars, the rejection of both communism and fascism by the developed world, and by the seeming ascendancy of liberal democracy throughout the...
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Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2014