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The Boundaries of the State in Modern Britain by S. J. D. Green, R. C. Whiting

By S. J. D. Green, R. C. Whiting

This cutting edge booklet presents a necessary ancient point of view at the obstacles of the kingdom in glossy Britain. At a time of severe debate concerning the kingdom, the gathering of interdisciplinary reports accrued the following emphasizes the sheer number of public involvement in British lifestyles, the ebb and stream of that involvement and its dynamics, and the broader implications this has for civil society and highbrow lifestyles. those new essays give a contribution to present debates not just by way of supplying a ancient research but additionally by way of trying to destiny advancements.

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The second distinction has more urgency for the present problem. Individualism in Britain has not comprised a consistent and unequivocal language: it has given voice to a number of dialects whose users would not always understand one another. In its many texts commenting on the relationship between State and society, it presents a Janus face. One style of expression will be termed here 'organic' individualism; its defining characteristic lies in grounding judgements about the State in a conception of interdependence of political and social arrangements and an expectation of harmony - theoretically, at least between the various elements of society.

146. John Buchan, A Lodge in the Wilderness (London, 1906), p. 296. 29 30 Michael Bentley sovereignty itself is conceived and debated. This language - or, more accurately, this dialect - has become valuable to British individualists who need a register in which to say what is wrong with a State3 that over-masters its citizens: it makes available images that help underline danger and strengthens the sense of threat. And those dialects, for there are more than one, have a history as well as a function.

Ch. 20, p. 136. John Locke, Two Treatises on Government (1690), Bk III, ch. 7, sec. 93, p. 162. 11 It followed that, although the theoretical problem of ensuring that 'men . . 12 The death and resurrection of the 'body politic' as an organising idea really wants its own essay. Certainly it would help understanding if one could ascertain with some precision when the anthropomorphism of seventeenth-century political thought gave way to the mechanism of late eighteenth-century writing and when, under the cover of Darwinian language, it made its return after 1870.

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