of turning once again the moderate, regulated society into a jungle

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Harry F

Senior Member
Mandarin
What keeps liberal norms and agencies effective in liberal polities is more than the fundamental consent of the citizens; it is, as Tocqueville had so well understood, les moeurs—mores shaped by the procedures and institutions of liberalism but indispensable to their survival, for what would otherwise prevent each faction (especially those that are armed, privately or publicly) from smashing the intricate mechanisms of the liberal clock, or, to change the metaphor, from blowing off the dense cobweb of liberal rites, and of turning once again the moderate, regulated society into a jungle? There are no comparable moeurs among states on the world scene, except, it seems, among the small number of liberal states, which, as Michael Doyle has recently shown, have practically never been at war with one another.

Hoffmann, Stanley. Janus And Minerva (p. 396). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

I don't understand what the part "and of turning once again the moderate, regulated society into a jungle" means, because it's led by the preposition "of". Could anyone help?
 
  • Parliament

    Member
    English (UK) & Dutch (NL)
    [...] what would otherwise prevent each faction [...] from blowing off the dense cobweb of liberal rites, and of turning once again the moderate, regulated society into a jungle?
    Paraphrased it for clarity. It seems to me that the "of" is indeed out-of-place. The usual pattern is "to prevent from".

    It is not entirely clear whether the author would like the "jungle" to be a consequence of the "blowing off the cobweb", or a separate thing entirely. This all depends on how the author would correct the sentence, either:

    a.) "[...] what would otherwise prevent each faction [...] from blowing off the dense cobweb of liberal rites, and from turning once again the moderate, regulated society into a jungle?" (separate)

    or

    b.) "[...] what would otherwise prevent each faction [...] from blowing off the dense cobweb of liberal rites, thus turning once again the moderate, regulated society into a jungle?" (consequential)

    but I'd wager it's separate (a.) instead of consequential, because the author uses "and".

    Either way, that's reading very deep into the matter. It won't be of much difference to the substance of the text.
     

    Harry F

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Paraphrased it for clarity. It seems to me that the "of" is indeed out-of-place. The usual pattern is "to prevent from".

    It is not entirely clear whether the author would like the "jungle" to be a consequence of the "blowing off the cobweb", or a separate thing entirely. This all depends on how the author would correct the sentence, either:

    a.) "[...] what would otherwise prevent each faction [...] from blowing off the dense cobweb of liberal rites, and from turning once again the moderate, regulated society into a jungle?" (separate)

    or

    b.) "[...] what would otherwise prevent each faction [...] from blowing off the dense cobweb of liberal rites, thus turning once again the moderate, regulated society into a jungle?" (consequential)

    but I'd wager it's separate (a.) instead of consequential, because the author uses "and".

    Either way, that's reading very deep into the matter. It won't be of much difference to the substance of the text.
    Ah thank you for your explanation! Yeah I figure a is probably the case because of the word "and".
     
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