Thursday, May 29, 2003

"Further, [Johann Gottfried] Herder attacks the idea that history should be interpreted as a movement of progress towards the modern State. He implies at least that the development of a modern State had little to do with reason, and that it was due rather to purely historical factors. The members of a tribe may very well have been happier than many inhabitants of a great modern State, in which 'hundreds must go hungry so that one can strut and wallow in luxury.' And Herder's dislike for authoritarian government is plain enough. When he published the second part he had to omit the statements that the best ruler is the one who contributes the most to making rulers unnecessary, and that governments are like bad doctors who treat their patients in such a way that the latter are in constant need of them."
-Copleston, _History of Philosophy_, vol. VI p. 175

No comments: