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Condorcet and the Viability of Democracy in Modern Republics, 1789–1794 (Minchul Kim)
Democracy was in the margins both as an idea and as a political force in the eighteenth century. Even in the 1790s, ‘democracy’ was hardly the defining notion of the revolutionaries’ political visions. The small states as much as the large states perceived democracy as an outmoded legacy of antiquity leading to anarchy and despotism, inapplicable not least because it was undesirable in the modern world in which commerce was a rising force. This article tells the story of how this changed, how the understanding of ‘democracy’ was transformed during the French Revolution to represent a viable transition mechanism to a state of widespread and durable liberty. To avoid a teleological approach in the process of this analysis, this article examines the works of Condorcet on modern democracy in the context of the predicaments of the eighteenth century and the French revolutionary decade: how to avert at the same time despotism, military government and popular anarchy; and how to establish a free and stable state on the basis of modern commercial society? The history of the French Revolution is hereby placed in dialogue with that of eighteenth-century political and intellectual history. The effect is that a fresh picture of the entirety of Condorcet’s political vision emerges as his idea of democracy is studied from the viewpoint of his historical sensitivity, political economy, constitutional theory and international thoughts. In the end, Condorcet was the thinker who most significantly and prominently contributed to the post-1789 emergence of the concept of ‘democracy’ – which had thitherto been considered as the political form inevitably leading to destructive anarchy and despotic Caesarism – as a viable pathway to stability and prosperity.
‘The Free Sale of Opium’: The Reaction of Russian Orthodox Churchmen to Freedom of Conscience, 1864–1905 (James White)
This article examines discussions of freedom of conscience and other religious liberties in the Orthodox ecclesiastical press between the Great Reforms of the 1860s and the first Russian Revolution in 1905. Avoiding highly influential and well-known religious thinkers, this piece instead focuses on forgotten ordained and lay writers who used their positions in the Church's hierarchy and educational establishments to reach a wide audience. At the heart of their views was a paradox: while frequently defining Christ as freedom and rejecting coercion in religious matters, these churchmen assailed freedom of conscience as morally dangerous and socially destructive. To explain this paradox and reveal why freedom of conscience allegedly posed such a threat, the article situates the writers in the institutional, intellectual, and political contexts of both the Church and the Russian Empire. Examining this is useful not only because it provides an example of how Russian Orthodox churchmen theologically justified the status quo of the empire's religious policy but also because it demonstrates how members of a state church perceived the shift of religion away from collective confessional ascription towards the individual, private sphere.
Irregular War, Local Community and Intimate Violence in Spain (1939–1952) (Jorge Marco & Mercedes Yusta Rodrigo)
Spain was the first country where the anti-fascist resistance manifested itself through the violence of arms, in response to the military coup of 1936 which triggered a bloody civil war. It was also the last to lay down arms in the 1950s after a long post-war period when groups of armed opponents continued the struggle against dictatorship, especially in the countryside. This contribution analyses the specificities of the violence experienced after the official end of the war, as well as that of the groups of resistance and the repression of a large part of the rural population, suspected by the authorities of helping the armed movement. The notion of ‘intimate violence’ accounts for the way this violence was practised most of the time from within the communities, making the internal fractures opened by the war even deeper. Hence, it can also be shown that the reconstruction of a peaceful national community was never an objective of the dictatorship, which on the contrary sought to crush dissent by violence.Book reviews:
Lara Douds, Inside Lenin’s Government: Ideology, Power and Practice in the Early Soviet State (Francis King)More information with Sage Journals.
Michael Kerrigan, Dark History of Russia: Crime, Corruption and Murder in the Motherland (John Gonzalez)
Enrique Moradiellos, Franco: Anatomy of a Dictator (Claudo Hernández Burgos)
Matthias Neumann and Andy Willimott, eds, Rethinking the Russian Revolution as a Historical Divide (Clayton Black)
Karl J. Trybus, The Rosary, the Republic and the Right: Spain and the Vatican Hierarchy, 1931–1939, (Oliver Logan)
Carl Wege, ‘Das Neue Europa’ 1933–1945: German Thought Patterns about Europe (Marleen Rensen)