... “But the relationship between the between the two cultural paradigms has always been a dialectical, not cyclical. The romantics were not repeating their ancestors. On the contrary, they brought about a cultural revolution comparable in its radicalism and effects with the roughly contemporary American, French, and Industrial Revolutions.By destroying natural law and by reorienting concern from the work to the artist they tore up the old regime's aesthetic rule book just as thoroughly as any Jacobin [a 18th century political French club] tore down social institutions. In the words of Ernst Troeltsch: "Romanticism too is a revolution, a thorough and genuine revolution: a revolution against the respectability of the bourgeois temper and against a universal equalitarian ethic: a revolution, above all, against the whole of the mathematico-mechanical spirit of science in western Europe, against a conception of Natural Law which sought to blend utility with morality, against the bare abstraction of a universal and equal Humanity." [Unquote Troeltsch]As will be argued in the subsequent chapters, it was Hegel who captured the essence of this revolution in his pithy definition of romanticism as "absolute inwardness" [absloute Innerlichkeit - in German - אינערליכקייט]. It will also be argued that its prophet was Jean-Jacques Rousseau: if not the most consistent, then certainly the most influential of all the eighteenth-century thinkers.Writing in 1907, Lytton Strachey caught Rousseau's special quality very well: "Among those quick, strong, fiery people of the eighteenth century, he belonged to another world -- to the new world of self-consciousness, and doubt, and hesitation, of mysterious melancholy and quiet intimate delights, of long reflexions amid the solitudes of Nature, of infinite introspections amid the solitudes of the heart." Percy Bysshe Shelley, who derided the philosophes as "mere reasoners," regarded Rousseau as "a great poet."