Friday, June 15, 2018

Evolution v Revolution

The English Civil War tore England apart. Thomas Hobbes was 64 years old when the conflict began. He became one of the leading thinkers arguing for evolution rather than revolution. The War pitted Parliament against the King. Charles I lost his head in 1649, 140 years before the French Revolution. Hobbes argued that chaos and bloodshed were more dangerous than obeying (even unjust) authority. He argued for slow change. He also argued for a Social Contract. He argued the rule of Kings couldn't be justified by Divine Right, but by representative consent. Charles II was restored to the throne after Cromwell's death, but gradually the Crown became a Constitutional position. Constitutions are built up by slow, difficult discussions and agreement. Agreements are messy, emotional, and open to change. A recognition that we don't need to play the same way, but we do need to agree on some basic rules. Us doesn't start with a vote, it starts with an agreement that there is an us. It starts with common ground and something worth building together.

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