In Defence of Classical Republicanism

"In The Government of Poland Rousseau continues his attack on the typical form of the modern political regime, but he does so now in order to call for a return to what he conceives to be ancient virtue rather than the extemporize the conditions necessary for the formation of the 'general will.' In a sense, the Poland can be read as perhaps the last and certainly one of the most significant rehearsals of a theme that had absorbed French and English writers throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The prevailing theme of the work is that of 'Ancients vs. Moderns,' and the book is characterized by Rousseau's continual confrontation of modern political and cultural practice with what he considers to be the superior modes and orders of Rome, Sparta, and Israel." -Willmoore Kendall

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