Thursday, February 22, 2007

John Adams, Conservative Revolutionary

In 1773, responding to the machinations of the local govenor, Adams argued for rebellion. Rebellion in the sense that Adams conceived of it , amounted to “a public confession of a wish for power” which is followed by guilt and “aggression against society.” In other revolutions these emotions show a desire for “the destruction of patriarchal values” (Shaw, 73-74). The governor, rather than the king, would play the role of father, while the King was the deistic image of God. This dichotomy between governor and king explains how Adams at the same time could be a revolutionary (one who is angry at the patriarchal governor) and a conservative (one who respects the king and tradition).

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Blogger Tortoise(notHare) said...

This posting is a home-run.

Perhaps I missed your original cite, but is "Shaw" the book from 1976 or so on JA's character? I was curious about the source and might try to find it to read more.

Your brief entry today is a gold-mine for analysis and thought.

1:59 PM  

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