Political Sociology: A Reader

By S. N. Eisenstadt | Go to book overview

individual in the social order. These ideologies demanded, like the rules of various religious orders, total commitment of the individual; and they justified coercion as a means of implementing political and social change. The passages from Lenin's The State and Revolution describe this attitude and try to justify the idea of "revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat."

Sukarno's "Lecture to the Students of Hasanuddin University" shows that a new ideology emerged in the second state of modernization—that is, in post‐ colonial Africa and Asia. He attempted to combine democratic and Communistic ideas into a new value system, which suggests a "guided democracy" as an ideal form of government. Nkrumah's "Background to Independence" represents a similar approach, and thus these two passages serve as an example of the ideas that developed in the emerging New Nations.

Hodgkin's "Note on the Language of African Nationalism" attempts to analyze the ways by which the transformation of legitimation has linked modern national ideas with the symbols and the collectivist African precolonial past.


∥ a. THE REVOLUTIONARY ORIGINS OF THE MODERN STATE

46
Rebellion and Liberty: From a Letter to William
Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787

Thomas Jefferson

The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of its motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part

which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had thirteen states independent for eleven years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half, for each state. What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

____________________
Reprinted from Thomas Jefferson, "Rebellion and Liberty," in William Ebenstein, ed., Man and the State (New York: Holt Rinehart & Co., 1947), pp. 10-11.

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