Saturday, June 16, 2012

A "Fourth" Revolution, cont.

I've been thinking a bit more about James Piereson's thesis and argument  and increasingly feel the need to quibble.

I'm inclined to agree with Piereson about the consequences of Jefferson's "revolution of 1800" as well as the Civil War, but less so about the New Deal.

While the "era of good feelings" is typically associated more closely with James Monroe's presidency (1817-1825) than Jefferon's, it does seem to be the case nevertheless that after 1800 a period of relative political stability followed for some time.  Similarly, after the Civil War, while sectional tensions were never erased altogether, those who wanted to make a serious case for chattel slavery were never heard from again.

But the New Deal is different.  While many, if not all of the premises of the New Deal became broadly accepted, it is also the case that the New Deal instituted a conflict as much as it solved one.  A festering cyst of a conflict that is with us still and is about to come to a head whether we like it or not.

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