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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Campus

Lecture talks origin of political philosophies


Author Patrick Deneen told several dozen political science students that all Americans are liberal in a lecture entitled “Different Sides of the Same Liberal Coin: The Consensus of ‘Conservatives’ and ‘Progressives’” on Tuesday in the Honors College Commons at M.D. Anderson Memorial Library.

Deneen, associate professor of government at Georgetown University and author of “Democratic Faith” came to UH as part of a two piece lecture series, “Conservatism and Progressivism in America,” hosted by the Phronesis Program in Politics and Ethics and the Honors College.

“Today the Conservative party’s and the Liberal party’s roots can both traced back as far as political science philosophers as John Locke and Niccolo Machiavelli,” Deneen said.

He went into detail about how today we are divided because of constant media exposure and a 24-hour news cycle.

“There are more of us speaking out now, which also gives the impression of a very divided country,” Deneen said. “We have the Tea Party people on the right and now Occupy Wall Street folks on the left. At least, this is what we have been told.”

But Deneen posed the question of how far away people’s political motives are and if they all want reform.

“(With) the current political makeup in the White House and Congress, one would think we have no unification now,” Deneen said. “Today political scientists suggest that we are born with either a progressive mind or a conservative mind, or point of view. With that being said, then one might conclude there is never going to be a consensus on issues, but, as we know, that is not necessarily true.”

Deneen concluded his lecture by relating and giving empirical examples of historical philosophies and modern-day politics.

“Whether progressive or conservative, all the ideas came from the same liberal philosophy that was written about centuries ago,” Deneen said. “Modern-day politics, if you are a progressive or a conservative, all came from the same liberal platform that was put into place so many years ago. We now are focused on the divisive issues instead of the many similar views and issues.”

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