Thursday, 25 August 2011

Review of "The Rights of Man" by Thomas Paine

This well-known pamphlet represents the pro-revolution side's riposte to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France.  Dedicated to George Washington, whom Paine admired, it earned its author a conviction for seditious libel in the English courts.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Review of J.S.Mill, "On Liberty"

If Burke's Reflections was the founding text of British conservatism, this was the founding text of British liberalism.  Written in 1859, this hugely influential little book set out the basic case for classical liberalism in the English language.

An extract from Newman's "Letter to the Duke of Norfolk" (1875)

Modern Rome... is not the only place where the traditions of the old Empire, its principles, provisions, and practices, have been held in honour; they have been retained, they have been maintained in substance, as the basis of European civilization down to this day, and notably among ourselves. In the Anglican establishment the king took the place of the Pope; but the Pope's principles kept possession.... [T]he old idea of a Christian Polity was still in force. It was a first principle with England that there was one true religion... that it came of direct Revelation, that it was to be supported to the disadvantage, to say the least, of other religions, of private judgment, of personal conscience....

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review of "Considerations on France" by Joseph de Maistre

This pamphlet was the response of the extreme right-wing intellectual Joseph de Maistre to the French Revolution - a kind of more robust, Francophone equivalent of Burke's Reflections (which de Maistre had read and admired).

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Contemporary legal writers on the old French monarchy

A quotation from Les institutions du droit français by Claude Serres, published in 1778:

The Draft Constitution of Hizb ut-Tahrir

This subject of this post is the "Draft Constitution of the Islamic State" promoted by the Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir.  It was composed by Hizb's founder, Taqiuddin an-Nabhani, and published in his 1953 book The Islamic State.  It is intended to serve as the constitution of the united Islamic Caliphate (Khilafah) which Hizb seeks to (re-)establish.

The Action Française Oath

This is the oath taken by members of the League of Action Française.  It is attributed to Charles Maurras.