Monday, July 02, 2007

More on van Prinsterer

Thanks to Steve Bishop I have a copy of Sander Griffioen's "Origins and Growth of Revolutionary Thought: An Outline of Lectures". Griffioen discusses Groen van Prinsterer's thought and makes a similar point to that made by Goudzwaard quoted in my earlier post. He writes:

For Groen history is irreversible; one cannot go back to pre-revolutionary days, and he introduces the distinction of counter- and anti-revolutionaries. The former desire a return to the pre-revolutionary period, the ancien regime, whereas the latter can decry the revolutionary spirit but accept the revolutionary status quo as a point of departure and as material for acting. Contrary to this, the counter­revolutionaries somehow refuse to acknowledge the revolu­tionary reality. Groen tried to find his own, position between the revolutionary and the counter-revolutionary position, in that he attempts to deal with the real situa­tion in order to transcend it. There are norms for the actual historical situation, without accepting the situa­tion as a norm in itself.

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