Moral Freedom (Library of Conservative Thought) (Volume 3)

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The book advocates free market capitalism, and criticizes interventionist government policies, including gas and tobacco taxes, public education, the Federal Reserve, welfare, the FDA, and labor unions. The book was a companion to a ten-part television series of the same name. The work of British philosopher John Stuart Mill, On Liberty highlights the struggle between liberty and government encroachment. Mill's seminal work discusses the relationship of the individual to society, his objections to government intervention, and outlines his conception of "basic liberties" — including freedom of speech and freedom to pursue tastes even offensive ones , as long as they do not harm others.

Mill also offers harsh criticism of an untethered democracy infringing upon individual liberty, writing that the "tyranny of the majority" could turn out to be worse than tyranny of government.

"The Conscience of a Conservative" by Barry Goldwater

Working against the prevailing opinion and feeling of the society, he writes, can be much harder to counter than a despot. In , the year-old William Buckley burst onto the political scene with his first book, G od and Man at Yale , an impassioned invective against his alma mater, Yale University, which he accused of forcing a liberal academic orthodoxy on to its students. Buckley went on to become a renowned leader in the modern conservative movement, founding the conservative political magazine National Review.

He was arguably one of the most influential political intellectuals of the late 20th-century, and is credited with combining political conservatism with free-market capitalism and anti-Communism — thus shaping the ideology of the GOP as we know it today. Although Buckley's later works are arguably more polished, God and Man at Yale continues to resonate with new generations of Young Republicans fed up with marginalization of conservative ideas in academia.


Reverence of Andrew Breitbart borders on hero-worship within the modern conservative movement, and his book Righteous Indignation is required reading for any budding right-wing blogger. Released less than a year before his death in , Righteous Indignation focuses largely on "Weinergate," the bizarre texting scandal that took down New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, and which was first exposed by Breitbart's website.

More broadly, the book serves as a how-to manual for conservative provocateurs, laying out Breitbart's vision for how the right can "gain back control of the American narrative" by battling the "Democrat-Media Complex. Because know thine enemy. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Search icon A magnifying glass.

Online Library of Liberty

It indicates, "Click to perform a search". Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification. Grace Wyler and Paul Szoldra. Facebook Icon The letter F. Link icon An image of a chain link. It symobilizes a website link url.

Conservatism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Email icon An envelope. It indicates the ability to send an email. Since religion is a matter between a man and his deity e. Moreover, legislature should. Being personal, religion ought not to be politicized. Jefferson writes to Thomas Leiper 21 Jan. My religious reading has long been confined to the moral branch of religion, which is the same in all religions; while in that branch which consists of dogmas, all differ, all have a different set.

The former instructs us how to live well and worthily in society; the latter are made to interest our minds in the support of the teachers who inculcate them. Thus, the principles common to all religions are few, exoteric, and the true principles of morality. He states to Dr. Benjamin Rush 21 Apr. The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man. That there is one only God, and he all perfect.

Moral Freedom (Library of Conservative Thought) (Volume 3)

That there is a future state of rewards and punishments. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion. Much in the Bible, Jefferson thought, was redundant, hyperbolic, bathetic, absurd, and beyond the bounds of physical possibility Holowchak a. Christ was neither the savior of mankind nor the son of deity, but a great moral reformer and moralist.

He did think love of God was needed for one to be of upstanding virtue, for each could see and feel the existence of deity in the cosmos. Thus, atheists, however ostensibly virtuous, suffered from a defect of moral sensibility. Yet when Jefferson expressed his own view on the branches of morality true religion , he did not mention belief in an afterlife.

With his out-and-out commitment to materialism and given the evidence of four letters that unequivocally express skepticism apropos of an afterlife, [ 13 ] it is probable that he did not believe in an afterlife. So, belief in an afterlife, one of the chief teachings of Jesus, seems not to have been an essential part of morality for Jefferson. Finally, Jefferson later in life claimed to be a Unitarian. Jefferson finds the notion of three deities in one inscrutable, and therefore physically impossible.

Here he falls back on his naturalism.

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He allows nothing inconsistent with the laws of nature, gleaned through experience. Yet there is more. The sort of Unitarianism Jefferson promotes is not a religious sect, but instead a manner of approaching religion. To Dr. Thomas Cooper 2 Nov.

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To Benjamin Waterhouse 8 Jan. Such letters show plainly that monotheism, incomplexity, and non-sectarianism are dependent issues. Those two tenets, he believed, were the framework of his Unitarianism, or of any right religion. For Jefferson, morality was not reason-guided, but dictated by a moral sense. To nephew Peter Carr 19 Aug. Like strength of limbs, it too is given to persons in a greater or lesser degree, and can be made better or worse through exercise or its neglect. A letter to daughter Martha 11 Dec.

If ever you are about to say any thing amiss or to do any thing wrong, consider before hand. You will feel something within you which will tell you it is wrong and ought not to be said or done: this is your conscience, and be sure to obey it. One ought to resist the temptation to act viciously in circumstances when vice will not be detected.

He tells Carr 19 Aug. Jefferson bids grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph 24 Nov. In another letter to Carr 10 Aug. Not everyone possesses a moral sense. Reason might function 1 to encourage or reinforce morally correct action, [ 20 ] 2 to keep the moral sense vital and vigorous, 3 to instill the first elements of morality in children through exposure to history, 4 to allow for cultural sensitivity to morally retarded cultures, 5 to continue moral advance through reading history as adults, 6 to help make plain the rights especially derivative rights of humans, 7 to form general rules to serve as rough guides human action, [ 21 ] and 8 to encourage moral improvement through breeding for morality Holowchak b: — Jefferson also believed, following the lead of many thinkers of his day—e.

Dupont de Nemours, 24 Apr. There were, however, periodic glitches—periods of moral stagnation or decline. Still, such moral declinations, considered overall, were temporary setbacks, not genuine declinations. In a letter to Adams 1 Aug. We are destined to be a barrier against the returns of ignorance and barbarism.

Old Europe will have to lean on our shoulders, and to hobble along by our side, under the monkish trammels of priest and kings, as she can. Dupont de Nemours 24 Apr. Action by the citizens in person, in affairs within their reach and competence, and in all others by representatives, chosen immediately, and removable by themselves, constitutes the essence of a republic. A government by its citizens in mass, acting directly and personally, according to rules established by the majority.

Every other government is more or less republican, in proportion as it has in this composition more or less of this ingredient of the direct action of the citizens. Governments are republican only in proportion as they embody the will of their people, and execute it. A government is republican in proportion as every member composing it has his equal voice in the direction of its concerns not indeed in person, which would be impracticable beyond the limits of a city, or small township, but by representatives chosen by himself, and responsible to him at short periods.

The definition is barebones for several reasons. Yet it is not normatively neutral, as it speaks of equality of opportunity for each citizen to participate in government and it guarantees equal rights.