Church and State
By Arnold Kling
In In this essay, I coin a term civil societarian.
The stereotypical libertarian might cite Ayn Rand and exalt the independent individual. Instead, a civil societarian would cite Alexis de Tocqueville, and his observation that “Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations.” These voluntary associations are what a civil societarian sees as the key to civilization.
…My secular, liberal friends clearly derive much of their identity and their rootedness from their political faith. I do not begrudge their having a political faith. I just wish they had chosen more wisely. Civil Societarianism is a better faith than a faith in the evil of George Bush, in the need to punish the rich, and in the virtue of any well-intended government program.