Locke: We Wear Him Proudly, But He Doesn’t Quite Fit

No time at present to comment at length, but Ivan Kenneally has some poignant thoughts on Thanksgiving over at The New Atlantis.  If Thanksgiving doesn’t normally make you reflect on Locke and Tocqueville, here is your chance.  A highlight:

“Given the many ways in which the undergirding premises of the American founding (at least in its Lockean strain) are anathema to gratitude, there is something conspicuously countercultural about our affection for Thanksgiving. A day entirely based upon a rededication to the virtue of gratitude amounts to releasing the whole human person from the cavern of abstract individuality. We acknowledge openly, if only for a day, the many debts we owe to family, friends, and God. Thanksgiving is a day for admitting that Tocqueville is right that we really do take seriously love and sacrifice — that we are more than beings with reason and interest, and that our dependence upon others is not merely a necessary burden to hide beneath rhetorical bluster but also a blessing to embrace.”

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