Class Notes

The new liberal thinkers of the 18th Century did not think of themselves as revolutionaries.  They were comfortable being part of the elite.  They hoped they could enlighten the nobility and kings, but instead they influenced revolutions.  The key to their enlightenment was that people should work towards their own self-interest, but an enlightened self-interest.  Our founders were both influenced and struggled with these thinkers and the ides of self-interest.  Jefferson used Locke in the Declaration of Independence, but Madison rejected self interest for the classic idea of working towards the common good.

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