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KCI등재 학술저널

The Revolt against Liberal Democracy: T. S. Eliot’s The Criterion

In the 1910s and 1920s, T. S. Eliot had frequently made interesting remarks on politics and commented on political issues through literary journalism. In his writings, he expressed a strong dislike for liberal democracy, a main current of British as well as universal political movements then. After taking up the editorship of The Criterion in 1922, Eliot advanced his opinions persistently against liberal democracy on political and literary issues through the quarterly review. This paper examines Eliot’s political ideas reflected in his various writings in The Criterion right after his conversion to the National Church of England in 1927. This examination finds that the political ideas of Eliot and other contributors in the review have close affinities with those expounded by the French political thinker, Charles Maurras, who was a champion of French monarchism, Classicism, Catholicism, and who condemned liberal democracy after the French Revolution. Although Eliot retained some of his family politics, much of his reactionary ideas against liberal democracy germinates from the thoughts of Maurras. For Eliot, liberal democracy in politics was not conducive to the excellence in the of arts as well as modern culture. However, after the condemnation of Maurras by the Vatican, he turns to Christian politics, which must be in service of the Church.

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