Blog favorite Alain de Botton (have you met Alain?) recently held a crash course in Political Philosophy via seven tweets:
1: Plato: We should be ruled not by leaders chosen by a majority, but by those who are most intelligent.
2. St Augustine: We should not try to build paradise on earth. Aim for tolerable government, true government only possible in the next life.
3. Machiavelli: Politician must choose between serving the interests of country and the interests of Christian morality. Can’t have both.
4. Hobbes: Rulers not appointed by God, but by people and if they can’t guarantee their security, they can be legitimately kicked out.
5. Smith: The market cannot alone create a moral community. Civil society must nudge capitalists to be good through emulation and honours.
6. Karl Marx: The ‘profit’ of a capitalist is in essence theft, the stolen life and labour of the proletariat.
7. J.S. Mill: Governments should not tell people how to live, they should give them the preconditions to make their own choices.