Order and Change - University of Warwick

Order and Change - University of Warwick

Order and Change MP Edmund Burke 1729-97 It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. Further Reflections The knight of the woeful countenance Shield of Aristocracy and Despotism, Ass = Pius VI Caption (from Reflections): It is undoubtedly true, though it may seem paradoxical; but in general, those who are habitually employed in finding and displaying faults, are unqualified for the work of reformation; because their minds are not only unfurnished with patterns of the fair and

the good, but by habit they come to take no delight in the contemplation of those things. By hating vices too much, they come to love men too little. It is therefore not wonderful, that they should be indisposed and unable to serve them. From hence arises the complexional disposition of some of your guides to pull everything to pieces. Christ, Jasus, what an ass I have been a number of years; to have doted on an old woman Heavens ! Whats her bacon and eggs to the delicious Dairy of this celestial Vision Welcome, thrice welcome to my arms, most renowned Dismalo, thou pink of Parnasus, thou Adonis of cavaliers! Thou God of Chivalry, do thou vanquish with the sacred spear, great Hero and give me to grasp thy invincible shillelee, more powerful than the sword of

Rinaldo, or that terrible Talisman the Truncheon of Marlborogh History will record, that on the morning of the 6th of October 1789, the king and queen of France, after a day of confusion, alarm, dismay, and slaughter, lay down, under the pledged security of public faith, to indulge nature in a few hours of respite, and troubled melancholy repose. From this sleep the queen was first startled by the voice of the centinel at her door, who cried out to her, to save herself by flightthat this was the last proof of fidelity he could givethat they were upon him, and he was dead. Instantly he was cut down. A band of cruel ruffians and assassins, reeking with his blood, rushed into the chamber of the queen, and pierced with an hundred strokes of bayonets and poniards the bed, from whence this persecuted woman had but just had time to fly almost naked, and through ways unknown to the murderers had escaped to seek refuge at the feet of a king and husband, not secure of his own life for a moment. It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in; glittering like the morning star, full of life, and splendor, and joy. Oh! what a revolution! and what an heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of

men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, oeconomists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever Click Click icon icon to to add add picture picture H M Williams; R Price; A L Barbauld; BURKE; Sheridan; BRITANNIA; GALLICA; Bastille prisoner; H Tooke; C Macaulay Don Quixote Tilting at Windmills The Age of Chivalry is dead! Enthusiasm Apostacy As to the tragic paintings by which Mr Burke has outraged his own imagination He is not affected by the reality of distress touching his heart, but by the showy resemblance of it striking his imagination. He pities the plumage but forgets the dying bird. Accustomed to kiss he aristocratical hand that has purloined him from himself, he degenerates into a composition of art, and the genuine soul of nature forsakes him. Paine, Rights of Man The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, oeconomists, and calculators,

has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is Time and order past extinguished for ever Loss of chivalry, order, hierarchy, respect and deference Precariousness of the present Replaced by an age of little men calculators small spirits, unimpressed by majesty and rank, driven by self-interest. And the glory of Europe France as Universal monarchy Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission,

that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprize, is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness. Very important in shaping a more complex view of society and government And their connections Influence of Essay on the Sublime

Vindication of Natural Society Burkes reaction to the American Revolution Centrality to 1780s whiggism Subsequent influence On radicalism Founding of conservatism? Anachronism But: polarisation over change; language of progress and collapse into disaster; absence of coining is partly a function of collective

rejection of French example, and doubts over progress and reason. 1812 Liberados in Cadiz 1814-5 Congress of Vienna 100 Days - March-July 1815 Restoration Europe but Spain, Italy, Portugal 1820s, Greek revolution Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) Considerations sur ls France (1797) Abbe Barruel (1741-1820) Memoirs of the History of Jacabinism (1798-9)

5 vls Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa The Leopard (1958): For things to remain the same, everything must change William Hazlitt (1778-1830), Spirit of the Age (1825) JEREMY BENTHAM MR. WORDSWORTH WILLIAM GODWIN MR. MALTHUS



The Spirit of the Age was never more fully-shewn than in its treatment of this writerits love of paradox and change, its dastard submission to prejudice and to the fashion of the day. Five-andtwenty years ago he was in the very zenith of a sultry and unwholesome popularity; he blazed as a sun in the firmament of reputation; no one was more talked of, more looked up to, more sought after, and wherever liberty, truth, justice was the theme, his name was not far off:now he has sunk below the horizon, and enjoys the serene twilight of a doubtful immortality. Mr. Godwin, during his lifetime, has secured to himself the triumphs and the mortifications of an extreme notoriety and of a sort of posthumous fame. His bark, after being tossed in the revolutionary tempest, now raised to heaven by all the fury of popular breath, now almost dashed in pieces, and buried in the quicksands of ignorance, or scorched with the lightning of momentary indignation, at length floats on the calm wave that is to bear it down the stream of time. Mr. Godwin's person is not known, he is not pointed out in the street, his conversation is not courted, his opinions are not asked, he is at the head of no cabal, he belongs to no party in the State, he has no train of admirers, no one thinks it worth his while even to traduce and vilify him, he has scarcely friend or foe, the world make a point (as Goldsmith used to say) of taking no more notice of him than if such an individual had never existed; he is to all ordinary intents and purposes dead and buried; but the author of Political Justice and of Caleb Williams can never die, his name is an abstraction in letters, his works are standard in the history of intellect. He is thought of now like any eminent writer a hundred-andfifty years ago, or just as he will be a hundred-and-fifty years hence. He knows this, and smiles in silent mockery of himself, reposing on the monument of his fame Sedet, in eternumque sedebit infelix Theseus* *There (in the bottom of the pit) sits Theseus, and will ever sit. Virgil John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) The Spirit of the Age (1831)

The SPIRIT OF THE AGE is in some measure a novel expression. I do not believe that it is to be met with in any work exceeding fifty years in antiquity. The idea of comparing ones own age with former ages , or with our notion of those which are yet to come, had occurred to philosophers; but it never before was the dominant idea of any age. It is an idea essentially belonging to an age of change. Characteristics of the spirit The wisest men in every age generally surpass It is an age of transition. Mankind have in wisdom he wisest of any preceding age (because benefit from predecessors) . But the multitude have the ideas of their own age, and no others. .. If they are nearer the truth than the multitude of another age, it is only in so far as they are guided by the wisest. outgrown old institutions an old doctrines, and have not acquired new ones.

The grand achievement of this age is not a function of the growth of human understanding but is the diffusion of superficial knowledge and the renouncing of many opinions they once held. No fixed opinions taken place of those abandoned: Men may not reason better, concerning the great questions in which human nature is interested, but they reason more. ..Discussion has penetrated deeper into society; and if no greater numbers have attained he higher degrees of intelligence, fewer grovel in ..abject stupidity. Attack on theorists and pride in matter of factness Most of mankind take the far greater part of their opinions on all subjects upon the authority of those who have studied them

but they are less likely to in the age of transition. But where is the authority which commands this confidence , or deserves it? Nowhere in an age of transition. Worldly power must pass from the hands of the stationary part of mankind into those of the progressive part. There must be a moral and social revolution, which shall take no mens lives or property, but which shall leave to no man one fraction of unearned distinction or unearned importance. Transitional vs natural states Natural when worldly power is exercised by the fittest persons that the state of society affords But the higher classes, instead of advancing, have retrograded in all the higher qualities of mind.

They are not under pressure In a civilised age, though it be difficult to get, it is very easy to keep. With the result that the aristocracy have a luxurious but idle and undistinguished life, whose effect is to degrade our morals, and to narrow and blunt our understandings. (Debt to St Simon and followers) Transitional state, when society contains other persons fitter for world power and moral influence than those who have hitherto enjoyed them. Currently in the hands of the monied and landed classes Three sources of moral influence 1. Eminent wisdom and virtue 2. The power of addressing

mankind in the name of religion 3. Worldly power When combined you get received doctrines; when divided, doctrinal conflict. Also conflict between young and old the old have fixed principles, but the world has changed to make them less relevant The young must prevail, though it were only by outliving their antagonists; but the most important of the qualifications or making good use of their success, are still to be acquired by them in the struggle.

And modern men are outgrowing their religions. Landed classes are coming to be recognised as a force that must give way (1832 Reform Bill) Civilisation 1836 The most remarkable of those consequences of advancing civilisationis that power passes more and more from individuals, and small knots of individuals, to masses. As civilisation advances, every person becomes dependent, or more and more of what most nearly concerns him, not upon his own exertions, but upon the general arrangements of society. Decline of state of perpetual personal conflict means that society induces in men more amiable and humane characters, that also inclines them to shrink from struggle the great virtues dry up but so too are great vices more

restrained. The individual becomes so lost in the crowd, that although he depends more and more upon opinion, he is apt to depend less and less upon well-grounded opinion. Literature becomes more ephemeral. Need regeneration through education of the most able. individual, polis and society Shift from voluntarist account of the political order contractualism, utilitarianism, institutional design, etc., In which the political order is a construct of individual and collective agency in which the individual and his passions, interests and reason - is the originating source

of exchange and contracts and in which the demand is for society to cease to fetter individuals rising to their level Toas we move into romanticism The political and social order become historicised and relativized, and in that process the individual becomes epiphenomenal to larger historical processes The social becomes more enveloping rooted in language and culture, and particular history As does the political order

In the process, the individual becomes caught in causal processes beyond his/her control How to deal with that?! Chapters on socialism (1879) Predicts an increasingly united working class Increasingly prepared to question the existing system of property The working classes are entitled to claim that he whole field of social institutions should be re-examinedwith the idea constantly in view that the persons who are to be convinced are not those who owe their ease and importance to the present system, but persons who have no other interest in the matter than abstract justice, and the general good of the community. Acknowledges the power o Socialisms attack on the economy and

property relations Advocates industrial partnerships where workers are admitted to a shar in the profits and suggests growing equalisation of reward in the longterm future Futurity of the Working Class all should work, and engage in selfgovernment a picture of competitively run cooperatives and downgrading of growth to self development. strategies for the agent struggle against orders and conventions experienced as constraining and stultifying appealing to a deeper conception of individual authenticity and interiority ..rebels in thought, in practice, in cultural resistance, in politics claiming authenticity as a higher moral standard in the absence of

overarching moral narratives of God, destiny, or a natural social and political order At the same time theres a switch to causality historical processes become seen as inevitable Ideas of development and progress linked to a changing conception of historical time Historicism relativizes the individual and challenges the route of romantic authenticity The story of the modern self is, as a

result, much more deeply fragmented Masses/crowds herds vs collective solidarities and strategies Man in the crowd descends to the level of women, children and savages Gustav le Bon Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to loose but your chains ..ethologyMills System of Logic 1843 Bk 6, v. Of Ethology, or the Science of the formation of character Empirical laws of human nature are merely approximate generalizations. The universal laws are those of the formation of character The laws of character formation cannot be ascertained by observation and experiment, so must be studied deductively deducing laws of character from general laws of mind. Psychology = elementary laws of mind

Ethology = study of character formation as an interaction between general laws and physical and moral (and social) circumstances of the agent. When the circumstances of an individual or of a nation are in any considerable degree under our control, we may, by our knowledge of tendencies, be enabled to shape those circumstances in a manner much more favourable to the ends we desire, than the shape which they would of themselves assume. Logic vi, 5, 4 ..when Ethology shall this be prepared, practical education will be the mere transformation of those principles into a parallel set of precepts, and the adaptation of these to the sum total of the individual

circumstances which exist in each particular case. The Subjection of Women 1869 Autobiography (posthumous 1873)

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