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Non-foundationalism

I take this excerpt from Hugh Hewitt’s site, summarizing a thesis of James Caesar of the University of Virginia that the Left seeks to implement an ideology of “non-foundationalism.” I think Caesar is superficially correct and substantively wrong.

“The left in this country has adopted “non-foundationalism,” a belief that “a new kind of society, free of all foundations, can be constructed,” and that this “is the only society deserving of the name of being truly democratic.”

Ceasar’s essay concludes:

The non-foundational position represents a utopian experiment that has yet no basis in real political science. Nothing in experience suggests it could ever work, at least for a nation that is tasked with performing an important role on the stage of world history. Without a foundational principle, even more without the moral energy that derives from a concern for foundational principle, a community cannot exist in a deep or meaninglful sense. And without this energy, a community would be unable to extract from its mmbers the added measure of devotion and resolve that are needed for its survival and for undertaking any important projects. What is involved, ultimately, inthe shift to non-foundationalism is an evacuation of what makes a nation, When the illusion of a genuine nation existing without foundations is finally acknowledged —if it is acknowledged— political life will return to the real political question: which is not whether to have a foundation, but rather which one(s) to embrace and in which mixture. This conclusion only gets us back to where sensible political life begins, which is finding foundational remedies to the problem most incident to foundational thinking. On that ground, and that ground alone, let the polarization continue.”

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