DEMOCRACY INCORPORATED MANAGED DEMOCRACY AND THE SPECTER OF INVERTED TOTALITARIANISM

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Democracy Incorporated

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 9781400888405
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 56.91 MB
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Democracy is struggling in America--by now this statement is almost cliché. But what if the country is no longer a democracy at all? In Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin considers the unthinkable: has America unwittingly morphed into a new and strange kind of political hybrid, one where economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled? Can the nation check its descent into what the author terms "inverted totalitarianism"? Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive--and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a "managed democracy" where the public is shepherded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin makes clear that today's America is in no way morally or politically comparable to totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, yet he warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies. Wolin examines the myths and mythmaking that justify today's politics, the quest for an ever-expanding economy, and the perverse attractions of an endless war on terror. He argues passionately that democracy's best hope lies in citizens themselves learning anew to exercise power at the local level. Democracy Incorporated is one of the most worrying diagnoses of America's political ills to emerge in decades. It is sure to be a lightning rod for political debate for years to come. Now with a new introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Chris Hedges, Democracy Incorporated remains an essential work for understanding the state of democracy in America.
Category: Political Science

Democracy Incorporated

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 9781400834846
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 66.78 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
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Democracy is struggling in America--by now this statement is almost cliché. But what if the country is no longer a democracy at all? In Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin considers the unthinkable: has America unwittingly morphed into a new and strange kind of political hybrid, one where economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled? Can the nation check its descent into what the author terms "inverted totalitarianism"? Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive--and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a "managed democracy" where the public is shepherded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin makes clear that today's America is in no way morally or politically comparable to totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, yet he warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies. Wolin examines the myths and mythmaking that justify today's politics, the quest for an ever-expanding economy, and the perverse attractions of an endless war on terror. He argues passionately that democracy's best hope lies in citizens themselves learning anew to exercise power at the local level. Democracy Incorporated is one of the most worrying diagnoses of America's political ills to emerge in decades. It is sure to be a lightning rod for political debate for years to come. In a new preface, Wolin describes how the Obama administration, despite promises of change, has left the underlying dynamics of managed democracy intact.
Category: Political Science

Democracy Incorporated

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 9780691145891
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 49.43 MB
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In a critical analysis of modern-day America, the author of Politics and Vision portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive and where elites are eager to keep them that way, in a worrying diagnosis of America's political ills.
Category: Political Science

Tocqueville Between Two Worlds

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 1400824796
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 37.64 MB
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Alexis de Tocqueville may be the most influential political thinker in American history. He also led an unusually active and ambitious career in French politics. In this magisterial book, one of America's most important contemporary theorists draws on decades of research and thought to present the first work that fully connects Tocqueville's political and theoretical lives. In doing so, Sheldon Wolin presents sweeping new interpretations of Tocqueville's major works and of his place in intellectual history. As he traces the origins and impact of Tocqueville's ideas, Wolin also offers a profound commentary on the general trajectory of Western political life over the past two hundred years. Wolin proceeds by examining Tocqueville's key writings in light of his experiences in the troubled world of French politics. He portrays Democracy in America, for example, as a theory of discovery that emerged from Tocqueville's contrasting experiences of America and of France's constitutional monarchy. He shows us how Tocqueville used Recollections to reexamine his political commitments in light of the revolutions of 1848 and the threat of socialism. He portrays The Old Regime and the French Revolution as a work of theoretical history designed to throw light on the Bonapartist despotism he saw around him. Throughout, Wolin highlights the tensions between Tocqueville's ideas and his activities as a politician, arguing that--despite his limited political success--Tocqueville was ''perhaps the last influential theorist who can be said to have truly cared about political life.'' In the course of the book, Wolin also shows that Tocqueville struggled with many of the forces that constrain politics today, including the relentless advance of capitalism, of science and technology, and of state bureaucracy. He concludes that Tocqueville's insights and anxieties about the impotence of politics in a ''postaristocratic'' era speak directly to the challenges of our own ''postdemocratic'' age. A monumental new study of Tocqueville, this is also a rich and provocative work about the past, the present, and the future of democratic life in America and abroad.
Category: Philosophy

Fugitive Democracy

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 9781400883424
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 89.93 MB
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Sheldon Wolin was one of the most influential and original political thinkers of the past fifty years. Fugitive Democracy brings together his most important writings, from classic essays such as "Political Theory as a Vocation," written amid the Cold War and the conflict in Vietnam, to his late radical essays on American democracy such as “Fugitive Democracy,” in which he offers a controversial reinterpretation of democracy as an episodic phenomenon distinct from the routinized political management that passes for democracy today. The breathtaking range of Wolin's scholarship, political commitment, and critical acumen are on full display in this authoritative and accessible collection. He critically engages a diverse range of political theorists, including Thomas Hobbes, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Richard Rorty. These essays grapple with topics such as power, modernization, the sixties, revolutionary politics, and inequality, all the while showcasing Wolin’s enduring commitment to writing civic-minded theoretical commentary on the most pressing political issues of the day. Here, Wolin laments the rise of conservatives who style themselves as revolutionary, criticizes Rawlsian liberals as abstract to the point of being apolitical, diagnoses postmodern theory as a form of acquiescence, and much more. Fugitive Democracy offers enduring insights into many of today’s most pressing political predicaments, and introduces a whole new generation of readers to this provocative figure in contemporary political thought.
Category: Political Science

The Unconscious Civilization

Author : John Ralston Saul
ISBN : 9781439118603
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 52.3 MB
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In this intellectual tour de force John Ralston Saul argues that our society is only superficially based on the individual and democracy, and the West now toils unconsciously in the grip of a stifling “corporatist” structure that serves the needs of business managers and technocrats as it promotes the segmentation of society into competing interest groups and ethnic blocks.
Category: Political Science

Voltaire S Bastards

Author : John Ralston Saul
ISBN : 9781476718965
Genre : History
File Size : 78.52 MB
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Argues that blind faith in reason has resulted in problems in every phase of social life, suggests reason is an administrative method rather than a moral force, and proposes some solutions.
Category: History

Membership And Morals

Author : Nancy L. Rosenblum
ISBN : 0691050236
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 60.54 MB
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Rosenblum argues that we should judge associations not only by what they do for civic virtue, but also by what they do for individual members. She shows that groups of all kinds - among them religious groups, corporations, home-owner associations, secret societies, racial and cultural identity groups, prayer groups, and even paramilitary groups - fill deep psychological and moral needs. And she contends that the failure to recognize this has contributed to an alarmist view of their social impact. For example, she argues that, although extremist groups have obvious antisocial aims, they constrain individuals who would be even more dangerous as a maladjusted loners. And she examines the rapid growth of small "support groups"--Which are usually dismissed as politically irrelevant - and shows that the moral support people find in such places as prayer groups and self-help groups helps to cultivate the social trust some scholars say is disappearing. Rosenblum concludes that, for practical and principled reasons, American democracy should permit expansive freedom of association, illustrating her case with discussion of specific cases in law.
Category: Philosophy

Dangerous Thinking In The Age Of The New Authoritarianism

Author : Henry A. Giroux
ISBN : 9781317261650
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70.88 MB
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Giroux probes the depth and range of forces pushing the United States into a new form of authoritarianism, one that connects the Orwellian surveillance state with the forms of ideological control made famous by Aldous Huxley. Addressing how neoliberalism, or the new market fundamentalism, is shaping a range of registers from language and memory to youth and higher education, Giroux explores how education in a variety of spheres is transformed into a type of miseducation perpetuated through what he calls a "disimagination machine"-one that reproduces the present by either distorting or erasing the past. But Giroux is not content to focus on how matters of politics, subjectivity, power, and desire are colonized through forms of miseducation; he is also concerned with the educative nature of politics as the practice of freedom and how the emphasis on critique must be matched by a politics and discourse of resistance, hope, and possibility. This becomes particularly evident in his chapters on Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. Thinking Dangerously makes clear that at the heart of the struggle for a radical democracy is the reviving of the radical imagination as the basis for new forms of political and collective struggle. Probing these issues through a series of interrelated essays and important interviews, Giroux provides an accessible, layered, and sustained example of how thinking dangerously is central to and connected with the struggle over the radical imagination and the fight to fulfill the promise of a radical democracy.
Category: Social Science

Politics And Vision

Author : Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN : 9781400883530
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 22.84 MB
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Politics and Vision is a landmark work by one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century. This is a significantly expanded edition of one of the greatest works of modern political theory. Sheldon Wolin's Politics and Vision inspired and instructed two generations of political theorists after its appearance in 1960. Substantially expanded for republication in 2004, it is both a sweeping survey of Western political thought and a powerful account of contemporary predicaments of power and democracy. In lucid and compelling prose, Sheldon Wolin offers original, subtle, and often surprising interpretations of political theorists from Plato to Rawls. Situating them historically while sounding their depths, he critically engages their diverse accounts of politics, theory, power, justice, citizenship, and institutions. The new chapters, which show how thinkers have grappled with the immense possibilities and dangers of modern power, are themselves a major theoretical statement. They culminate in Wolin’s remarkable argument that the United States has invented a new political form, "inverted totalitarianism,“ in which economic rather than political power is dangerously dominant. In this expanded edition, the book that helped to define political theory in the late twentieth century should energize, enlighten, and provoke generations of scholars to come. Wolin originally wrote Politics and Vision to challenge the idea that political analysis should consist simply of the neutral observation of objective reality. He argues that political thinkers must also rely on creative vision. Wolin shows that great theorists have been driven to shape politics to some vision of the Good that lies outside the existing political order. As he tells it, the history of theory is thus, in part, the story of changing assumptions about the Good. Acclaimed as a tour de force when it was first published, and a major scholarly event when the expanded edition appeared, Politics and Vision will instruct, inspire, and provoke for generations to come.
Category: Political Science