Apostol Arsachi: conservatism, intellectual sources and political paradox
Author: Alexandru GAVRIŞ
Keywords: conservatism, liberalism, Enlightenment, property, intellectual sources.
Apostol Arsachi was one of the most long-lived Romanian political personalities from the 19th century. His career began during the “Phanariot epoque”, it continued during the reign of the Romanian princes and the regulatory period and it ended with the “liberal” regime induced by the Convention from Paris. From many points of view, he remained faithful to the paradigms characteristic to the first half of the century. The national ”double identity” and the intellectual training influenced by Enlightenment were the “stimulating” elements in this regard. His speech remained attached to the classic values: tradition, property, church, aristocratic authority, thus becoming one of the main political actors of the first conservative generation. The specific character of his position (in a wider meaning, of the Romanian conservatism during its first decades) was given by the perpetuation of Enlightenment and by a certain liberal touch (noticeable especially in the economic aspects). His intellectual sources (Rousseau, Guizot, Thiers, Adam Smith, etc.) had a fundamental role in the delineation of this apparently paradoxical attitude which can nevertheless be explained by the political man’s specific education but also by the permanent need to be legitimate in a political environment in which the options derived from the 1848 Revolution started to be predominant.