Since Thomas B. Silver left off writing The Liberal Century, back at the beginning of the 21st century, the Claremont Institute, of which he was then president, has become well-known nationally for the analysis of liberalism or progressivism advanced by its fellows and affiliated scholars. The “Claremont School” generally holds that “modern liberalism, beginning with early 20th century Progressives, succeeded in overthrowing the political philosophy on which the Founders built American constitutional government.”

To continue the conversation about the meaning of America that Dr. Silver wanted to stimulate, we offer responses to his analysis and more generally to the “Claremont criticism” of progressivism.



What’s Wrong With Progressivism? What’s Wrong with the Claremont Criticism of Progressivism? by David Tucker

The “Claremont criticism” of Progressivism is that it replaced the natural rights understanding of the Founding and Lincoln with an historical account of the origins of government. READ MORE

Thomas Silver’s The Liberal Century, Harry Jaffa, and the Claremont School by Jason Jividen, Saint Vincent College

In The Liberal Century, Thomas Silver argues that American progressivism and modern liberalism won the battle of ideas in twentieth-century American politics. READ MORE

Progressivism and the New Deal by John Moser, Ashland University

In the years after World War II, the University of Chicago political scientist Leo Strauss revolutionized the study of political theory by applying the technique of close analytical reading of texts by thinkers from Plato to John Locke. READ MORE

Moreno and Marini on the Administrative State by David Tucker

Paul Moreno provides the history of the administrative state; John Marini describes its theoretical foundation.[1] Is either account adequate? READ MORE

Moreno Responds

I’m thankful to the Peoria Project for hosting this discussion of The Bureaucrat Kings, and to David Tucker for his thoughtful critique. READ MORE

The Moral Argument Against the Administrative State by David Tucker

“What’s Wrong With Progressivism? What’s Wrong with the Claremont Criticism of Progressivism?”contends that the best argument against the administrative state is not the theoretical argument for the state of nature and natural rights, but the moral argument about the best way to live. Charles Murray’s article “The Europe Syndrome and the Challenge to American Exceptionalism”(2009) contains a short, powerful statement of that moral argument. READ MORE


Read The Liberal Century by Thomas B. Silver:

Table of Contents & Introduction

Chapter 1: Natural Right and History, A Preview

Chapter 2: 1936

About The Peoria Project

Peoria is remembered for the speech Abraham Lincoln gave there in 1854. This act of statesmanship began the greatest struggle in American history to bring wisdom together with consent—the struggle for a new birth of freedom in a land devoted to freedom but shackled to slavery. The Peoria Project sponsors and cultivates the continuing search for the wisdom that deserves consent.

Read more.