Zitate von Kenneth Minogue

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Kenneth Minogue

Geburtstag: 11. September 1930
Todesdatum: 28. Juni 2013

Kenneth Robert Minogue war ein politischer Philosoph und Professor an der London School of Economics. Wikipedia

Zitate Kenneth Minogue

„Dynasties rise and fall according to what the Chinese used to call 'the mandate of heaven', but life for the peasant changes little. Everything depends on the wisdom of the ruler.“

—  Kenneth Minogue

Quelle: Politics: A Very Short Introduction, Chapter 1
Kontext: In a despotic government, the ultimate principle of order issues from the inclinations of the despot himself. Yet despotism is not a system in which justice is entirely meaningless: it has generally prevailed in highly traditional societies where custom is king and the prevailing terms of justice are accepted as part of the natural order of things. Each person fits into a divinely recognized scheme. Dynasties rise and fall according to what the Chinese used to call 'the mandate of heaven', but life for the peasant changes little. Everything depends on the wisdom of the ruler.

„However ignorant a person may be, he or she can always moralize. And it is the propensity to moralize that takes up most of the space for public discussion in contemporary society.“

—  Kenneth Minogue

Quelle: The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life, pp. 214-215
Kontext: For it is a conspicuous feature of democracy, as it evolves from generation to generation, that it leads people increasingly to take up public positions on the private affairs of others. Wherever people discover that money is being spent, either privately or by public officials, they commonly develop opinions on how it ought to be spent. In a state increasingly managed right down to small details of conduct, each person thus becomes his own fantasy despot, disposing of others and their resources as he or she thinks desirable. And this tendency itself results from another feature of the moral revolution. Democracy demands, or at least seems to demand, that its subjects should have opinions on most matters of public discussion. But public policy is a complicated matter and few intelligent comments can be made without a great deal of time being spent on the detail. On the other hand, every public policy may be judged in terms of its desirability. However ignorant a person may be, he or she can always moralize. And it is the propensity to moralize that takes up most of the space for public discussion in contemporary society.

„The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority -- they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism.“

—  Kenneth Minogue

Introduction, pp. 2-3
The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life
Kontext: Our rulers are theoretically 'our' representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving 'messages' from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority -- they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism.

„radical doctrines to bear on all areas of governmental concern“

—  Kenneth Minogue

Introduction, p. vii. ; quoted in The Feminist Crusades: Making Myths and Building Bureaucracies (c. 2007) Zepezauer ISBN 9781425972868
How Civilizations Fall

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„We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into responding to each new problem by demanding that the government should act. That we should be constantly demanding that an institution we rather despise should solve large problems argues a notable lack of logic in the demos.“

—  Kenneth Minogue

The statesmen of times past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to help 'ordinary people' solve daily problems in their lives. This strange aspiration is a very large change in public life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded with derision to politicians seeking power in order to solve our problems. Today, the demos votes for them.
Introduction, p. 3
The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life

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