The Corner

Too Much Reality

An interesting reader quibble:

“Dear Derb—[Some approving remarks, then] …I am however going to quibble

with you on one point. Our revolution was not a product of the

Enlightenment, which celebrated the glory of man, and led in my opinion to

all these silly theories of human perfectability (ok, revived them). Our

revolution was a product of the Puritan and protestant revolutions, with

some of the Enlightenment mixed in (Mr. Jefferson). Our revolution

explicitly recognized that men could not be trusted with power, and religion

was the only true civilizing force that could ensure a stable republic. The

Enlightenment revolutions turned into mob rule or oligarchies specifically

because they believed in the perfectable man.”