Day 97 – Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift

April 7, 2009

Tonight I had the privilege of going to a lecture and panel discussion of Dr. Rahe, Dr. Birzer, Dr. Morrisey, and Dr. Arnn on democracy’s drift into soft despotism. The talk was centered upon Dr. Rahe’s recently published book, Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and the Modern Prospect. (Timely, because the 250 year anniversary of Tocqueville’s death is next Thursday.) The talk and all of the speakers were excellent. I purchased the book and I will comment on it once I read it (which will most likely not be until this summer).

At the book signing afterwards, Dr. Rahe made an interesting comment to me that I have to think about for a while. He said that for freedom to work in America, social conservatives need to be libertarian, and libertarians need to be socially conservative. I think he is making a great point there, but I need to think through the short justification he provided me. Look for my thoughts on this later in the year when I have more free time to write. This comment really intrigued me, so I intend to think about it in the coming months.