John Locke and the Uncivilized Society

ebook Individualism and Resistance in America Today · Political Theory for Today

By Scott Robinson

cover image of John Locke and the Uncivilized Society

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John Locke's influence on American political culture has been largely misunderstood by his commentators. Though often regarded as the architect of a rationally ordered and civilized liberalism, John Locke and the Uncivilized Society demonstrates that Locke's thought is culpable for the rather uncivilized expressions of political engagement seen recently in America. By relying upon Eric Voegelin's concept of pneumopathology, Locke is shown to be subtly constructing a liberal ideology and thereby individuals who approach liberalism as closed-minded ideologues, not as deeply responsible and mature citizens. Because Locke's citizens will be slogan chanters instead of deep thinkers, Locke's work does not create a liberalism that provides the best possible regime for humans, but a mere shadow of the best possible regime.

John Locke and the Uncivilized Society