The key question in any political system is its legitimacy. -Daniel Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, Basic Books Inc., NY, 1976.
It’s Plato all over again
after the acidic effects in Athens
of an excessive individualism,
after a tonic surge of new life,
after an anomic normlessness.
It’s a matter of putting everything
in the true basket again:
the good, the beautiful and the just,
in a vision of community
born in the terror of anti-community,
the soulless reality of democracy.
It’s a new age of a new Rome,
a new republic: unitary, centralized,
collectivized, resting on legally
discrete, socially free individuals
but also decentralized and local
in essence, with intimacy,
communality, pluralistic :sings:
with no marching to the sound
of one foot, with the law
set above all and the nation
set in a constellation of forces
to establish the reign of virtue
in a communitas communitatum1
in which the oneness of life
serves as the basis for
the religion of history.
1 this term is used by Robert Nisbet in his The Social Philosophers.
2 January 1997