Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Amazing Quotes 23: Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies

From Harvad Uni

Whenever we speak about "development," we think about GDP, economic growth, war against poverty, etc. Nice, but it neglects the fact that political development is also fundamentally important. To address this imbalance, Huntington wrote "Political Order and Changing Societies" in 1968. Until today, it is a classic, and many considered it his best work. Below are the best quotes from chapter 1 - 3 of that book:

Men may, of course, have order without liberty, but they cannot have liberty without order.
-- Page 7 - 8

They (the communists) may not provide liberty, but they do provide authority. They do create governments that can govern.
-- Page 8

More than by anything else, the modern state is distinguished from the traditional state by the broadened extent to which people participate in politics and are affected by politics in large-scale political units.
-- Page 36

It is not the absence of modernity but the efforts to achieve it which produce political disorder.
-- Page 41

The calling into question of old standards moreover, tends to undermine the legitimacy of all standards. The conflict between modern and traditional norms opens opportunities for individuals to act in ways justified by neither.
-- Page 60

In functions and power American presidents are Tudor Kings. In instituional role, as well as in personality and talents, Lyndon Johnson far more closely resembled Elizabeth I than did Elizabeth II. Britain preserved the form of the old monarchy, but America preserved the substance. Today America still has a king, Britain only a crown.
-- Page 115.

The assimilation of new Groups into the political system means, in effect, the expansion of the power of the political system.
-- Page 143.

Nineteenth-century monarchs modernized to thwart imperialism; twentieth-century monarchs modernize to thwart revolution.
-- Page 155

The legitimacy of the reforms depends on the authority of the monarch. But the legitimacy of the political system in the long run depends upon the participation within it of a broader range of social groups.
-- Page 167

The more vigorously a monarch exercises authority, the more difficult it is to transfer that authority to another institution.
-- Page 179

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