What Makes a Great Statesman?
A lecture by Prof. Daniel J. Mahoney
On Wednesday, April 26, Prof. Daniel J. Mahoney was the guest of Common Sense Society–Hungary (CSS–HU) for the lecture entitled the “Indispensable Virtues of the Statesman.” Through the examples of statesmen who struggled to preserve freedom during times of crisis, like Cicero, Burke, de Tocqueville, Lincoln, Churchill, de Gaulle or Havel, Prof. Mahoney showcased the values and virtues, a mixture of magnanimity and moderation that defines great statesmen. He reflected on the wellsprings of these qualities: classical education and an intimate knowledge of one’s cultural heritage, honorable ambition to pursue political leadership, and a noble desire to protect the inheritance of civilization against rapacious and despotic regimes and ideologies.
Prof. Daniel J. Mahoney is professor emeritus at Assumption University and currently a visiting fellow at the Danube Institute. He is a specialist in French political philosophy, anti-totalitarian thought (especially Solzhenitsyn), and the intersection of religion and politics. He is the author or editor of twelve books including Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Ascent From Ideology (2001); The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order (2010); The Other Solzhenitsyn: Telling the Truth About a Misunderstood Writer and Thinker (2014); and The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity (2018). His book The Statesman as Thinker: Portraits of Greatness, Courage, and Moderation was published in 2022.
Common Sense Society–Hungary (CSS–HU) is a nonprofit organization that promotes liberty, prosperity, and beauty through education and public discourse. The educational fellowships, curriculum resources, publications, cultural programs, community initiatives, and national campaigns of CSS–HU illuminate the enduring ideas that have transformed the course of human history for the better. CSS–HU does not receive funding from governments or political parties.