New PDF release: A Politics of Tensions: The Articles of Confederation and

By Robert W. Hoffert

Publication through Hoffert, Robert W.

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Making power an expression of law is one important step. Law is to be rules, not personal will. Properly formulated, law is impersonal because it is abstract. It is abstract because it is not concrete; it is not an expression of a specific will or of specific circumstances. It is the negotiated result of conflicting wills formulating general rules and standards applicable to all without regard to specific persons or particular circumstances. A science of political technologies is especially important to the depersonalization and abstracting of the law.

It is not manufactured through contrivances but discovered and expressed in the natural vitality of a people. Thus, its purpose and role in society is not merely one of practicality. Its purpose and role is moral. Laws, governments, and public life must contribute to the strengthening of substantive justice over injustice and mere process. The health of a community and its citizens requires a particular kind of order, not mere order. It requires an order as consistent with the natural order as is possible in history, which can only be achieved if the moral responsibility of politics is recognized and attentively pursued.

As a teacher and friend, he simultaneously clarified and bewildered, inviting me to grow. There are students. More than a decade of undergraduate students at Colorado State University were especially helpful. It was their patience and curiosity that helped me begin talking about ideas and interpretations central to this book. There are professional colleagues and personal friends. Alan Lamborn, Wayne Peak, and John Straayer have made special efforts to nurture a supportive, yet stimulating, academic workplace.

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A Politics of Tensions: The Articles of Confederation and American Political Ideas by Robert W. Hoffert


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