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By Auguste Comte

The French thinker Auguste Comte (1798-1857) is usually said as one of many founding fathers of sociology, and some of the most influential "grand theorists" of the 19th century. This variation of his early essays from the 1820s relies on a brand new translation, and goals to make his rules and the advance of his idea available to fashionable readers. A entire creation establishes the historic value of Comte's paintings and indicates how his principles emerged from the wealthy highbrow turmoil of post-revolutionary France.

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In combating the rulers' ridiculous pretension to exclusive political wisdom they have engendered in the ruled the prejudice - no less ridiculous, though less dangerous - that any man is capable, by instinct alone, of forming a just opinion of the political system, and each of us has asserted the duty to set himself up as a legislator. 1 This essay was submitted to Le Censeur in July 1819, but was not published. , without having studied these sciences; and yet that they believe at the same time that anyone can understand political science, and have a settled and trenchant opinion on its most abstract principles, without the necessity of taking the trouble to reflect about it and making a special study of it.

And it is on this sort of thing that it is ridiculous and unreasonable to pronounce without special thought. For it is obvious that, in the question of whether such a measure or such an institution is capable of achieving a given goal, there is a chain of reasoning and of reflection which, to be undertaken properly, demands a special study of this kind of consideration. In the absence of this, we should believe certain means capable of attaining a goal, whereas they would in fact have a wholly opposite effect.

General Character of Modern History It is industrial capacity, or the manufacturing arts and crafts, that must be substituted for the feudal or military power. At a time when war was and had to be regarded as the primary means to prosperity for nations, it was natural for the direction of the temporal affairs of society to be in the hands of a military power, and for industry, classed as subordinate, to be employed only as an instrument. By contrast, when societies are at last convinced by experience that the only means for them to acquire wealth consists in pacific activity - that is in industrial activity - the direction of temporal affairs must naturally pass to industrial capacity, and military force in turn can only be classed as subordinate, as a purely passive force, probably even destined one day to become wholly useless.

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