"In reaction to the flood of Enlightenment literature which, starting above all from the second half of the eighteenth century, floods France fertilizing the ground for the subsequent revolutionary explosion, a literature of opposite tendency flourishes, of which the Essay on the generating principle of the political constitutions of Joseph de Maistre, composed in 1809 and published in Petersburg and Paris in 1814, is one of the happiest expressions. De Maistre's work is not a systematic treatise on political philosophy, but an essay directed against a certain category of adversaries, the fabricators of constitution at the table, the revolutionary ideologues who, despising the lesson of history and experience, had demanded elaborate a purely abstract model of social and political structures. Therefore, a happily reactive work, where the author does not limit himself to a polemical reaction, but goes back to the most distant causes, penetrates the ultimate consequences, manages to rediscover the positive value of elements whose greatest truth is not only polemical, but can and must be more widely reconquered ”(from the Introduction by Roberto de Mattei).
Author: Joseph de Maistre
Edition year: 2021