Download e-book for iPad: A Dictionary of Political Thought by Roger Scruton

By Roger Scruton

This re-creation takes inventory of the progressive alterations that experience taken position because the dictionary used to be first released in 1982. 1790 entries hide each point of political idea delivering an essential advisor to the idea, the knowledge and the folly of contemporary politics through the most lucid philosophers of our time.

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Armistice. The suspension of fighting pending a definite peace settlement: the term refers either to an agreement between belligerents, or to the condition existing during the term of that agreement. Armistice must be distinguished from •capitulation and *surrender, in that it is essentially bilateral, with mutual concessions and mutual restrictions, and from a treaty of peace, in that it does not end the legal state of war. , by military commanders. g. those against Germany and Japan in the Second World War) ends to the disadvantage of the vanquished, though not necessarily to the advantage of the victor.

Greek: rule by the best. • Aristotle contrasted aristocracy, in which virtue is the title to power, with *oligarchy, in which the title resides in wealth. Both are forms of 'rule by the few', but only in the former case is rule by the few in the interests of the many. Aristotle's concern was with an *ideal type; nevertheless it is normal to make a corresponding distinction among actual governments, between those where power belongs to a minority *class with hereditary privileges (aristocracy), and those where power belongs to a minority group or party, without hereditary restrictions on membership (oligarchy).

Many who do not think that there is such a thing as authority, nevertheless think that we ought to preserve our belief in it, perhaps on grounds of *utility, or public order. The following three observations relate severally to the three questions distinguished: (i) The causes of the belief in authority are more varied than Weber's division suggests. *Habit is one cause, *custom another (both subsumed under *tradition by Weber). It may even be that the rational perception of a genuine and objec= tively existing *right of government is also the explanation of the belief in it.

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