Coleridge’s Political Thought: Property, Morality and the by John Morrow (auth.)

By John Morrow (auth.)

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Additional info for Coleridge’s Political Thought: Property, Morality and the Limits of Traditional Discourse

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88 The remedy which Thelwall proposed - the removal of artificial, politically fostered institutions (such as primogeniture) which generated monopoly, and the establishment of exchange relationships between proprietors and labourers, reflecting the character of property as 'the fruits of useful industry' - responded to Burke's claim that the radicals wished to enjoy the benefits of natural primitive rights in a framework structured by developed rights. Thelwall appreciated that the restoration of natural or aboriginal rights would merely provide an opportunity for the re-enactment of a historical process marked by oppression and injustice.

As we have seen, the idea of corruption was central to this perspective, and it also played an important role in Coleridge's critique. He argued that the restrictions imposed by the Two Bills would undermine the Constitution by corrupting it into a despotic form. 6 Government 'by the people' existed where the people were 'actually present' or where they were 'morally present' - that is, represented by delegates who acted on the instructions of their constituents. The second mode of government, government 'over the people', was despotic: 'the people at large have no voice in the legislature, and possess no safe or established mode of political interference: in few words ...

Inspires Oppression, while it prompts Servility:29 The bishops' support for the bloody and unjust war against France epitomised the depravity of Christian sentiment engendered by the Church-state alliance. It is recorded in the shuddering hearts of Christians, that while Europe is reeking with Blood, and smoaking with unextinguished Fires, in a contest of unexampled crimes and unexampled calamities, every Bishop but one voted for the continuance of the War. They deemed the fate of their religion to be in the contest!

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