Category Archives: History

Review of Professor sheldon’s book on political theory

Recent reviewers have celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of emeritus Professor Garrett Ward Sheldon’s book on political theory: THE HISTORY OF POLITICAL THEORY. The review below is of the book in anticipation of a new updated edition.

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Review by GEN Z CONSERVATIVE

Introduction

As I’ve said before, political philosophy is something I find interesting but struggle with reading and truly comprehending it. I love reading books like The PrinceLeviathan, and The Federalist Papers, but wonder how much I’m able to glean from the complex ideas in those books. However, my eyes were opened to the value of well-written, concise discussions of political philosophy when I read Professor Sheldon’s The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson and, shortly afterward, The Political Philosophy of James Madison. Because I enjoyed those books so much, I chose to read his The History of Political Theory: Ancient Greece to Modern America.

As you should be able to guess from the title, The History of Political Theory covers how political theory has developed over the years. Beginning with Socrates and ending with Benjamin Barber, it covers some of the most influential political thinkers, generally from the West, and what their ideas were.

If you don’t have time to read the full review, just know this: The History of Political Theory is a book you need to read. To develop a better political system, we must understand the political ideas of the past, as those ideas are the concepts from which our system extends. We must understand them so that we can tweak and refine them in our quest to create the “more perfect Union” referred to in the Constitution. Read it. You won’t regret doing so.

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The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson

The world’s attention has been on American politics and American government for the last few months. The reference to the American Constitution and its founders has been constant. Indeed, understanding the impeachment process and the choice of a supreme court judge requires some knowledge of the constitution and its contributors. Professor Garrett Ward Sheldon has written a book about Thomas Jefferson, one of the most influential of the founding fathers. His book, The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, is favourably reviewed below.

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Summary of The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson by Garrett Ward Sheldon

To show what elements of what theories comprised Jefferson’s political philosophy, Sheldon traces the development of his political thoughts alongside the development of America, showing how Jefferson’s thoughts changed as America evolved throughout The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson.

First, before delving into the relationship between Jefferson’s thoughts and America’s evolving national character, Sheldon describes the combination of Lockean liberalism and classical republicanism that primarily contributed to Jefferson’s political philosophy, hinting at how Jefferson was able to blend “many philosophical concepts into a comprehensive and coherent political philosophy, the essence of which [might] be closer to classical republicanism than to Lockean liberalism.”

Then, after delving into the attributes of and differences between the two, Sheldon begins his history-based approach, starting, as should be expected, with America as a colony. In this chapter, Sheldon discusses how “the position that the American colonists found themselves in…accounted for much of their feelings of both affection for, and resentment of, the royal British Empire.”

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The political philosophy of James Madison

The world’s attention has been on American politics and American government for the last few months. The reference to the American Constitution and its founders has been constant. Indeed, understanding the impeachment process and the choice of a supreme court judge requires some knowledge of the constitution and its contributors. Professor Garrett Ward Sheldon has written a book about James Madison, one of the writers of the constitution. His book, The Political Philosophy of James Madison, is favourably reviewed below.

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Summary of The Political Philosophy of James Madison by Garrett Ward Sheldon

Admin, Gen Z Conservative, 11 February 2021

The Political Philosophy of James Madison is, as you might expect, about Madison’s political beliefs and how he came to them. Given that he was a Founding Father, the author of the Constitution, an author of The Federalist Papers, and one of the pre-eminent Virginians from the early American time period, understanding how he thought and what he envisioned for America is singularly important.

To help the reader understand Madison’s political thoughts, Sheldon begins with a brief introduction to it and the ideas that will be discussed. According to him, Madison’s political views changed over time, shifting between aspects of American nationalism, Lockean liberalism, and Classical Republicanism, yet were held together and coherent because of their grounding in Protestant Christianity, specifically Calvinist culture and theology.

Additionally, although being associated with Jefferson, who had, at times, radical views on liberty, and being a key opponent of the Federalist Party, Madison was no anarchist; while his views on what measure of national control was acceptable, he never shifted away from the basic premise that the national government should remain, to some degree, supreme.

After that brief introduction to Madison and his political ideas, Sheldon shifts to the first real chapter of The Political Philosophy of James Madison, which is on the intellectual underpinnings of James Madison’s political thoughts. To Sheldon, the root of many of those thoughts was Calvinist theology and his belief that it and reason complemented each other. For example, Madison’s writings, even later in life, reflected his Calvinist upbringing; they lacked the rhetorical flair of Jefferson and were instead well-grounded and ordered.

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Has the Owl of Minerva taken flight?

Professor Sheldon’s description of the collapse of the political order in America applies just as much to Australia. The disgusting cultural self-loathing of the dominant political class on display on Australia Day (26 January) is enough to fill ordinary Australians with despair. If the Owl of Minerva does represent wisdom, knowledge and thought, she has certainly taken flight out of Australia.

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The Owl of Minerva and the Night of America

Professor Garrett Ward Sheldon, Gen Z Conservative

The German philosopher Hegel famously said of political history “The Owl of Minerva takes Flight at Dusk.”

From Greek mythology, this Owl represented Wisdom, Knowledge, Thought, the Ideology of a Social System. When that political order was finished, about to end, its Thought System had reached its zenith. The Ideology justifying an era reached full development just as that order collapsed.

The thought system of the seemingly predominant order of Liberalism, Globalism, Radicalism now seems predominant. It has just established total power in the government by means of manipulation and intrigue, corruption and censorship. But these are not methods of a young, strong, healthy regime, but of an old, weak, desperate, dying system. Medieval ideology and “show” reached its zenith just as feudalism, monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings collapsed and was supplanted by industry, trade, and republican government.

          The triumph of Democratic Globalism and its Ideology of Diversity, Perversity, and Relativism ascends just as a new system of technology, living and working, more compatible with traditional American ideals of individualism with community, freedom, and rights (see my book, THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF THOMAS JEFFERSON) emerges.

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White Aboriginals wish their existence away

It is a curious thing about many self-declared Aboriginals who bemoan the so-called invasion and the ravaging of their ‘indigenous’ culture. The majority of Aboriginals who pass before our eyes in news reports are in fact Australians of Aboriginal ancestry (AOAAs).

Their colour, from faded brown to full white with European features, gives them away. They all have the blood of other races (predominantly white) racing through their veins.

Do they realise that in bemoaning the invasion they are wishing their existence away? Does it not occur to them that they are alive because the fantastic, incredible voyage of eleven ships brought Europeans and their culture to the land mass now known as Australia?

It is not the only incoherence in the Aboriginal affair.

I do not acknowledge welcome to country

All Australians are equal under the law. No group of Australians has a superior status by virtue of their race or a culture other than Australian culture. Implicit in the Welcome to Country ceremonies is the superiority of Aboriginal culture and land ownership over and above that of ordinary Australians.

A nation and its culture are only as strong as their cultural confidence and their strength and determination to defend themselves. Otherwise they will fall prey to inimical forces operating either under a variety of pretexts and subterfuges or by open force of arms.

Ordinary Australians are witnessing the infiltration and takeover of their institutions which are then used to impose a reinvented and fabricated culture on them and the downgrading and eventually exclusion of their own.

Is there anyone who will defend us? Are we to fall to the traitor class? Will nobody come to our aid?

I do not acknowledge the Aboriginal flag

The so-called Aboriginal flag, whatever its origins, has long been hijacked by the far-left as a formidable weapon in their Marxist agenda, which is to wipe out all vestiges of European (capitalist) society. That’s the reason I do not recognize it. How many Australians of Aboriginal ancestry (AOAAs) realize they are just a tool in the radicals’ agenda? The Aboriginal flag is the opposite of a tool of reconciliation.

What are the origins of the so-called Aboriginal flag? Why has this commercially designed flag, now hijacked by the extreme left, been given official status – which status I refuse to acknowledge? Who gave it official status?

The brief answer is that the flag was designed by a graphic artist who holds the copyright and exacts a payment for its use. So the flag that has no popular ratification is a political leftist flag that pours money into a few private pockets.

The flag was given official status as the Aboriginal flag in 1995. IT IS NOT A NATIONAL FLAG. But that does not answer the question of who in government took it upon themselves to give the flag official status without going to the people. More information below.

The shady past of the WHITE man who controls the Aboriginal flag

Aboriginal flag nothing more than a ‘fabricated entity’

Government must not buy Aboriginal flag ‘because there is already one national flag’

Aboriginal society was not a pretty sight

The first arrivals in Botany Bay and Sydney Cove wrote their impressions of the Aboriginals they came across in small groups. Among other observations, they noticed that the Aboriginal women showed signs of constant bashing. Indeed, it was no different from the bashing and child abuse presently witnessed among Aboriginal groups in central Australia. The indefatigable promoters of Aboriginal separatism see the history of Aboriginal society differently, Now Aboriginal society pre-settlement cannot be glorified too much. In all respects, they assert, Aboriginal society was superior to the white racists who established the complex society we see around us today. And to point out what the real first Australians achieved, is to earn the title of ‘white supremacists’. The history of Aboriginal society is either being rewritten or reinvented. Occasionally, a real historian will break through the fantasy and propaganda to state the truth.

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Life and Death in Pre-Contact Aboriginal Australia

William D Rubinstein, Quadrant, 18 November 2020

When Europeans first settled in Australia in 1788, they encountered an Aboriginal society of almost incredible barbarism and violence. This was the reality of what they found. The reasons for the violence and barbarism of Aboriginal society derive entirely, or almost entirely, from one factor alone. All of the Aborigines of Australia were hunter-gatherers who had not domesticated livestock nor grown crops for food. As a result, the lives of the hundreds of small tribes that constituted Aboriginal society were engaged in a never-ending struggle to find what food they could from what little existed on this continent.

Directly because of this central fact, it was absolutely necessary to keep the size of each tribe small enough for its members to be kept alive by what food and other sustenance they could find. It was therefore absolutely necessary for them to avoid adding any excess mouths to feed to the limited numbers who could be kept alive by the methods of hunter-gatherers in the Dry Continent. They did this by systematically eliminating the excess mouths.

Continue reading Aboriginal society was not a pretty sight

The Amazing incredible voyage of the First Fleet

The voyage of the First Fleet hardly has its equal in seafaring history. The idea of founding a colony on the other side of the world, of sailing a fleet of ships in uncharted waters below the 44th parallel to a destination 15,000 miles away, on the other side of the world, was thought preposterous in 1787. It would never work. It would turn into a farce and a disaster. But it did work. In chapter 13 of my book PRISON HULK TO REDEMPTION, I provide some highlights of that astounding voyage of which two of my ancestors were a part.

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Prison Hulk to Redemption

Chapter 13

The Scarborough’s steward

Jonathan King, a descendant of Philip Gidley King, the third governor of the Australian Colony (1800-1806), opened the introduction to his book, The First Fleet: The Convict Voyage that Founded Australia 1787-1788, with this claim:

The founding of the Australia nation by the first fleet is one of the greatest stories of mankind. Thirteen hundred and fifty people, crammed into eleven tiny ships, sailed halfway round the world to transplant European civilisation and on a voyage that took eight months and one week they lost only forty-eight people, most of whom were sick or dying even before they left.

It was an epic achievement of navigation, use of the wind, ocean currents, and organisation—yet it is a story little known within, or outside, Australia.

No sober judgement of the facts could be at odds with this assessment. Despite the magnitude of the achievement, most Australians would have no idea that ‘the journals and diaries of at least eleven scribes have survived from the First Fleet along with reports and logbooks of others’. Those journals included that of author King’s ancestor Second Lieutenant Philip Gidley King RN on the fleet’s flagship HMS Sirius. Australians of all ancestries have at their disposal firsthand reports of that incredible sea voyage that against the odds, with never a navigational falter, led eleven ships into Botany Bay between the 18th and 20th of January 1788, after 15,000 miles and 252 days.

Those many Australians who today walk along the great avenues of Australia’s modern cities without a thought of where it all came from should rescue themselves from their ignorance. They should read with pride about the sea voyage from the civilised world that laid the foundations of their rich, vibrant, free nation. The eleven ships of the fleet consisted of two naval ships, the armed brig HMS Supply and the warship HMS Sirius; six convict transports, Alexander, Charlotte, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Prince of Wales, and Scarborough; and three food and supply transports, Golden Grove, Fishburn, and Borrowdale. Alexander and Scarborough took only male convicts. The Scarborough was loaded with the most vicious and incorrigible of criminals.

As incredible as it may seem, I have two ancestors on the First Fleet, Frederick Meredith on the Scarborough and convict Eleanor Fraser on the Prince of Wales, though it is probable Eleanor was transferred later to the Charlotte. Frederick Meredith was steward to John Marshall, the master of Scarborough. Eleanor Fraser and Frederick Meredith were my ancestors through the line of Frederick’s first child, Frederick Jr (who married Eleanor’s daughter Sarah) and Frederick Jr’s daughter Ann. That line led to my mother via her father.

Continue reading The Amazing incredible voyage of the First Fleet

Celebrating the convicts who built Australia

I pay tribute to the Manly Daily for its articles on Australia’s colonial history, specifically about those who settled the Manly to Palm Beach peninsula. These articles are especially appreciated because of the Marxist left’s project to erase the history of white settlement and its magnificent achievements. I wrote in my first family history book PRISON HULK TO REDEMPTION (see below) that many Australians can look back on a family history similar to mine, with convicts who made good and contributed to the building of a brilliant new nation. It was their exclusive achievement.

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Humble origins didn’t stop James Jenkins becoming the largest landholder on peninsula

FROM arriving as a convict in 1802, by 1825 James Jenkins and his family owned all of the foreshore land from what is now Mona Vale Hospital to southern end of Dee Why Beach (NSW). John Morcombe looks back.

John Morcombe, Manly Daily, 20 November 2020

ONE of the best examples of how a person convicted of a petty crime in England and transported to Australia could rise to become highly regarded and comparatively wealthy is James Jenkins.

From his convict origin he rose to become the largest landholder on the northern beaches, consolidating valuable grazing land and opening up the area by building the first significant road from North Harbour to Collaroy.

But the complex web of legal disputes for the disposition of his estate following his death tended to obscure the magnitude of Jenkins’ contribution to the history of the northern beaches.

Then local historians Ken Muir and Shelagh and George Champion gradually unpicked the web in the 1990s to reveal the contribution Jenkins and his family made to the history of the region.

When James Jenkins and his brother William arrived in the colony as convicts aboard the Coromandel in 1802, they had less than two years left to serve of their seven-year sentences for allegedly stealing seven sheep.

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