… is from page 44 of the 2022 paperback edition of C. Bradley Thompson’s superb 2019 book, America’s Revolutionary Mind (original emphasis):
Political self-government depends on moral self-government, which in turn depends on an individual’s ability and willingness to follow the “standard of reason.”
DBx: Without most individuals having the capacity for moral self-government, decent civilization is impossible. Decent civilization can, under such circumstances, be achieved neither by freedom nor by any species of collectivism. But whereas collectivism can destroy decent civilization that arose through freedom among morally self-governed individuals, collectivism can never – no matter how morally self-governed are most of the population – create or sustain decent civilization.
To all of my fellow Americans, Happy Fourth of July!