Political Decay and Political Arcadianism


  • Ronnie Hjorth Swedish Defence University, Stockholm, Sweden




Political Decay, Political Arcadianism, Political Theory, Ethics


An account of evil in classical political theory is the concept of evil government. The notion of political decay from good to evil government or to anarchy, the absence of government, among classical political theorists represents both a moral and a political problem. This essay argues that political decay remains a perennial problem because the political condition itself involves the seeds to its own destruction. Moreover, it is claimed that the nostalgic longing to a glorious past for nations or peoples risks turning into what is here labelled ‘political arcadianism’, fostering futile attempts to return to past conditions. The argument is that political arcadianism when focusing on the imagined past rather than the present is a possible cause of political decay.


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How to Cite

Hjorth, R. (2018) “Political Decay and Political Arcadianism ”, De Ethica, 5(1), pp. 37–49. doi: 10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.185137.