Parties from principle, especially abstract speculative principle, are known only to modern times . . . what madness, what fury can beget such unhappy and such fatal divisions? . . . This principle, however frivolous it may appear, seems to have been the origin of all religious wars and divisions. As no party, in the present age, can well support itself without a philosophical or speculative system of principles annexed to its political or practical one, we accordingly find, that each of the factions into which this nation is divided has reared up a fabric of the former kind, in order to protect and cover that scheme of actions which it pursues.
That profound sentiment comes right from the lips of the father of the Scottish Enlightenment himself, David Hume, circa 1742. It is chock full of insight for our own times. And the practical reason of that era formed the background context for the American founding, much as Scotland itself was the origin of the modern era by inventing, law, economics, science, technology, medicine and unleashing the power of the market.Read More