By Jeffrey Dennis Pearce, August 25, 2010 in Outside the Classroom
Professor, literary critic, historian, sage--all of these terms apply to Mel Bradford. In his "On Remembering Who We Are: A Political Credo" in Modern Age, Spring 1982, this American patriot writes "in praise of the inhibition and limitation which come from remembering who and what we are, politically speaking." He quotes Robert Nisbet writing about Aristotle. Nisbet makes the point that Aristotle was not so much concerned about the form a government took, but "'the relation between government and the social order. What was important was not whether government was monarchy, oligarchy or democracy but whether the family, private property, legitimate associations and social classes were able to maintain themselves free of incessant political invasion or domination irrespective of what form of government existed.'" (Roben Nisbet, The Social Philosophers: Community and Conflict in Western Thought (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co.,1973), p. 396) Bradford agrees, and goes on to briefly examine three societies where the relation between the government and the social order found harmonious balance: Viking Iceland, the Venetian Republic, and the United Netherlands. This article is a fascinating introduction to the thought of Mel Bradford, and has many thought-provoking insights worthy of consideration and discussion.