Defending the Founders and the (American) Enlightenment

In his article "Modernity and the Secularization of Reason," Tim Jones claims that fascism and communism are "rooted in the reason midwifed out of philosophers such as Hegel, Kant, Rousseau, Locke, Hobbes, Bacon, Hume, and Marx."  He then makes this astonishing assertion: "[This] makes American democratic republicanism a first cousin of those tyrannical ideologies [fascism and communism] since it, too, grew out of the same philosophical soil." The claim Jones makes – that American democratic republicanism is a first cousin to fascism and communism – is simply not true. Trying to sort out everything in the article would be a huge challenge.  Let's keep it simple by beginning with Rousseau.  The line from Rousseau to Kant is direct.  Kant had only one picture in his austere household: a picture of Rousseau on the wall above where he wrote.  From Kant to Hegel and on to Marx is also a direct line, and the line...(Read Full Post)