0 votes

The Crisis of American Self-Government


Harvey Mansfield, Harvard's 'pet dissenter,' on the 2012 election, the real cost of entitlements, and why he sees reason for hope.

By SOHRAB AHMARI Cambridge, Mass.

'We have now an American political party and a European one. Not all Americans who vote for the European party want to become Europeans. But it doesn't matter because that's what they're voting for. They're voting for dependency, for lack of ambition, and for insolvency."

Few have thought as hard, or as much, about how democracies can preserve individual liberty and national virtue as the eminent political scientist Harvey Mansfield. When it comes to assessing the state of the American experiment in self-government today, his diagnosis is grim, and he has never been one to mince words.

Mr. Mansfield sat for an interview on Thursday at the Harvard Faculty Club. This year marks his 50th as a teacher at the university. It isn't easy being the most visible conservative intellectual at an institution that has drifted ever further to the left for a half-century. "I live in a one-party state and very much more so a one-party university," says the 80-year-old professor with a sigh. "It's disgusting. I get along very well because everybody thinks the fact that I'm here means the things I say about Harvard can't be true. I am a kind of pet—a pet dissenter."

This is a very important article in understanding the ilntellectual side of conservative politics, and hold within some keys for us.

I hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I did.

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Bump and bookmarked

I'll probably share this, too. This is a good read.

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine

No.7's picture

bump. +1


The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. - Andrew Jackson

Good article! Thanks for sharing that with us.

"Conservatives need to be intelligent, and they shouldn't use their principles as substitutes for intelligence. Principles need to be there so judgment can be distinguished from opportunism. But just because you give ground on principle doesn't mean you're an opportunist."

I know you are usually several steps ahead of me in your thinking and I usually do catch up to you eventually but, this article showed me you are waaaay ahead of most people here on DP. Thank God you're on our side!

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

Thank you for lifting the quote

It's really perfect for many here on DP.. (((((((((Nonna))))))))

That quote from the article you linked made

me think of Rand Paul. Many here on DP don't "get" that he IS on our side.

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

I agree and furthermore

many here don't want to get it. They hate the GOP and that's that.. if you're GOP you're evil (and I believe that idea is held by some VOPs here).