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IPSA: Justice and Fraternity

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The dominant political paradigm of the ancient world was fraternity, not liberty. In the period post-1492, two new, crucial ideas emerged: liberty and equality. The French Revolution celebrated all three principles together. But the modern world gradually abandoned the first. 'Fraternity', if we read it broadly as 'friendship', languishes still. The modern assumption is less that justice does not require, than that it is undermined by, friendship. The question arising is whether modernity is improved, or ethically and spiritually tarnished, by this decline. It is arguable that the friendship internal to certain types of association constitutes an assault upon justice. This charge is laid against violent groups (street gangs, Camorra, Mafiosi, Klansfolk), non-violent secret societies (Free Masons, Skull & Crossbones, sororities & fraternities), and indeed various private and exclusive entities (clubs, trusts, 'cults', parties, corporations). It is equally arguable that small associations are essential to inculcating 'decency' and fairness and to imparting identity and stability to budding citizens. Hence constant praise of families, small schools, 'scout' troops, and the intimacy of mentoring. It is proper to place fraternity - friendship, solidarity, or community - again on the agenda, in political philosophy and in political science, and to inspect the subject with the care first given it by thinkers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero.

Event (Conference)

TitleIPSA: Justice and Fraternity