A nation’s traditions can be viewed as the set of cultural and political principles which distribute authority between the past, present, and future. The traditions are an amalgamation of three possible cultures: the culture that existed in the old times, the new culture of the contemporary period, and the culture that is possible in the time that is yet to come. When authority is being distributed between the past, present, and future, a nation’s politics is less likely to take a totalitarian turn. A consensus between the past, present, and future cannot be achieved by a totalitarian regime, but a democratic or republican government, elected by popular mandate, might achieve it.
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