The Romantic Factor in Modern Politics

Philosophy 11 (44):387 - 402 (1936)
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One of the marks of our times is a new eruption of the personal. Systems and institutions of politics are clouded over. The impersonal principles on which these systems and institutions depend are still more deeply obscured. Men turn for their inspiration to the living flow of personality. Some leader who has burst from hidden and elemental depths commands a passion of personal loyalty. Leadership has always been a great factor in the history of human communities. The deification of the ruler was the cement of the Hellenistic monarchies and of the Roman Empire which inherited their tradition. It may seem a strange atavism that we should now be apparently recurring, in the twentieth century, to a similar practice. But there are exigencies of contemporary life which explain the new vogue of leadership, and there is a tide of contemporary thought which leads on to the current doctrine of the emergent leader



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