Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I'm reading Isaiah Berlin's Against the Current, and it is giving me a renewed appreciation for that very messy thinker Montesquieu.  He was the polar opposite of someone like Sayid Qutb.  He was a multiculturalist avant la lettre.  Montesquieu believed that it was more important for people to be free to err than for them to be compelled to be correct.  In that belief he made himself the enemy of all the 'terrible simplifiers' of the modern era be they religious or ideological.  The radical revolutionaries regarded him with as much suspicion as the monarchist reactionaries.  And yet, it was not any moral relativist who declared that "outside the law is tyranny."

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