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  • First Principles Series Report posted September 2, 2009 by Paul Rahe, James W. Ceaser, Ph.D., Thomas G. West Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: What Tocqueville Teaches Today

    Editor's Note: The following exchange is adapted from a public conversation among Paul Rahe (Hillsdale College), James Ceaser (University of Virginia), and Thomas West (University of Dallas) that took place at The Heritage Foundation on April 16, 2009, the date of release for Paul Rahe's book SoftDespotism, Democracy's Drift, and the 150th anniversary of the death…

  • Play Movie Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: What de Tocqueville Teach Video Recorded on April 17, 2009 Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: What de Tocqueville Teach

    Despotism can come in many forms. In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville cautioned readers about the possibility that democracy would result in a soft despotism of expanding paternalistic state power that gradually undermines self-government…

  • First Principles Series Report posted December 10, 2008 by James W. Ceaser, Ph.D. How to Think About the Foundations of American Conservatism

    Contemporary American conservatism, which is notorious for its internal factionalism, is held together by a self-evident truth: conservatives' shared antipathy to modern liberalism. Their main objections are well-known. Almost to a man or woman, conservatives oppose using government authority to enforce a vision of greater equality labeled by its supporters, with…

  • Lecture posted March 10, 2006 by James W. Ceaser, Ph.D. Creed Versus Culture: Alternative Foundations of American Conservatism

    Contemporary American conservatism, which is notorious for its internal factionalism, is held together by a self-evident truth: conservatives' shared antipathy to liberalism. Their main objections are well-known. Almost to a man or woman, conservatives oppose using government authority to enforce a vision of greater equality labeled by its supporters, with great…

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