None Dare Call It Feudal

October 31, 2013

[O]ur own history is full of “Washingtonian” figures born of great sacrifice, often in times of crisis.

William Henry Harrison, Wyoming Congressman

William Henry Harrison, Wyoming Congressman

On a national scale, we can identify those famous statesmen, generals, soldiers, religious figures, artists, professors, businessmen, and so many others who embodied and distilled those admired and sturdy virtues that built our great nation. We might also observe local figures such as extraordinary city leaders, farmers, merchants, police chiefs, and others who made the great sacrifice of entering into authentic public service, treating their employees like family, or taking upon themselves the problems of others.

Governor Leverett Saltonstall, his wife Alice and daughter Emily, boards plane at East Boston airport. Photo from the Boston Public Library.

Governor Leverett Saltonstall, his wife Alice and daughter Emily, boards plane at East Boston airport. Photo from the Boston Public Library.

And why not affirm it? We see not only individuals but families that, over the course of generations, have contributed much to the glory of our nation and its communities and formed what none dare call a framework of traditional elites that is vaguely feudal.(*) Even today some of their family names ring out in positions of leadership and trust.

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(*)It is what has been called the American paradox of an aristocratic nation inside a democratic State. See Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993).

 

John Horvat II, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need To Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 200-1.

 

 

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