Order and Legitimacy
Francis Graham Wilson
H. Lee Cheek, Jr., M. Susan Power, Kathy B. Cheek, and Thomas J.
A growing body of readers is rediscovering Francis
Graham Wilson’s tremendous contribution to the study of politics and
humane learning. In this volume he offers an extensive assessment of
the nature of politics and the search for order in Spanish politics,
concentrating on the central figures who defended the Church and
communities during the Spanish Civil War.
The book argues for the uniqueness of Spain among the other countries
of Europe. For Wilson, the most salutary attribute of Spanish politics
is found in the assemblage of smaller groupings of the citizenry
within the larger society in communities; and it is in the smaller
association that the most important aspects of moral, social and
political life were nurtured. Part 1 includes assessments of three
eminent Spanish traditionalists, Juan Donoso Cortés, Jaime Balmes, and
Menéndez Pelayo, as well as studies of central figures from the period
of the Spanish Civil War—José Antonio and Ramiro de Maeztu. The final
chapters are taken from an unpublished book-length manuscript, “An
Anchor in the Latin Mind,” that Wilson had completed at the time of
his death in 1976, and was recently discovered by the editors. For
Wilson, Latin thinkers possess advantages others do not—a political
realism that can be reinvigorated.
The recovery of Spanish traditionalism, according to this book, is
dependent upon a return to the self-understanding of the ordering
principles of Spanish politics and society. Wilson’s affirmation of a
Spanish traditionalist inheritance during his lifetime encouraged a
return to authentic popular rule and a greater appreciation of Spanish
achievements in politics and the moral life.
Publication Date: 06/01/04