THE SHIPWRECKED MIND ON POLITICAL REACTION

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The Shipwrecked Mind

Author : Mark Lilla
ISBN : 9781590179031
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 61.44 MB
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We don’t understand the reactionary mind. As a result, argues Mark Lilla in this timely book, the ideas and passions that shape today’s political dramas are unintelligible to us. The reactionary is anything but a conservative. He is as radical and modern a figure as the revolutionary, someone shipwrecked in the rapidly changing present, and suffering from nostalgia for an idealized past and an apocalyptic fear that history is rushing toward catastrophe. And like the revolutionary his political engagements are motivated by highly developed ideas. Lilla begins with three twentieth-century philosophers—Franz Rosenzweig, Eric Voegelin, and Leo Strauss—who attributed the problems of modern society to a break in the history of ideas and promoted a return to earlier modes of thought. He then examines the enduring power of grand historical narratives of betrayal to shape political outlooks since the French Revolution, and shows how these narratives are employed in the writings of Europe’s right-wing cultural pessimists and Maoist neocommunists, American theoconservatives fantasizing about the harmony of medieval Catholic society and radical Islamists seeking to restore a vanished Muslim caliphate. The revolutionary spirit that inspired political movements across the world for two centuries may have died out. But the spirit of reaction that rose to meet it has survived and is proving just as formidable a historical force. We live in an age when the tragicomic nostalgia of Don Quixote for a lost golden age has been transformed into a potent and sometimes deadly weapon. Mark Lilla helps us to understand why.
Category: Political Science

The Shipwrecked Mind

Author : Mark Lilla
ISBN : 9781590179024
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 88.78 MB
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"We don't understand the reactionary mind. As a result, argues Mark Lilla in this timely book, the ideas and passions that shape today's political dramas are unintelligible to us. The reactionary is anything but a conservative. He is as radical and modern a figure as the revolutionary, someone shipwrecked inthe rapidly changing present, and suffering from nostalgia for an idealized past and an apocalyptic fear that history is rushing toward catastrophe. And like the revolutionary his political engagements are motived by highly developed ideas. Lilla unveils the structure of reactionary thinking, beginning with three twentieth-century philosophers--Franz Rosenzweig, Eric Voegelin, and Leo Strauss --who attributed the problems of modern society to a break in the history of ideas and promoted a return to earlier modes of thought. He then examines the enduring power of grand historical narratives of betrayal to shape political outlooks ever since the French Revolution. These narratives are employed to serve different, and sometimes expressly opposed, ends. They appear in the writings of Europe's right-wing cultural pessimists and Maoist neocommunists, American theoconservatives fantasizing about the harmony of medieval Catholic society and radical Islamists seeking to restore a vanished Muslim caliphate. The revolutionary spirit that inspired political movements across the world for two centuries may have died out. But the spirit of reaction that rose to meet it has survived and is proving just as formidable a historical force. We live in an age when thetragicomic nostalgia of Don Quixote for a lost golden age has been transformed into a potent and sometimes deadly weapon. Mark Lilla helps us to understand why"--
Category: Philosophy

The Reckless Mind Intellectuals In Politics

Author : Mark Lilla
ISBN : 9781681371160
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 30.44 MB
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In 1953 Czeslaw Milosz published The Captive Mind, his classic study of how intellectuals in postwar Eastern Europe were tempted to collaborate with the Communist system under which they lived. But they were hardly unique. European history of the past century is full of examples of philosophers, writers, and jurists who, whether they lived in democratic, Communist, or fascist societies, supported and defended totalitarian principles and horrific regimes.
Category: Philosophy

The Once And Future Liberal

Author : Mark Lilla
ISBN : 9780062697462
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 59.2 MB
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Impassioned and timely, this superbly written polemic by Mark Lilla based on his viral New York Times article argues that focusing on identity has failed the democratic party and offers a road map for a new kind of politics. "This book is a polemic. It is written by a centrist American liberal stunned and outraged by the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. And it has been written out of anger." The election of Trump marks the end of an era, argues LIlla, a respected Columbia professor and public intellectual. The political worldview defined by Ronald Reagan that has dominated the American political landscape for nearly four decades is over. On the right, conservatives must now grapple with the fact that a rhetoric of individual initiative and minimal government has given way to thoughtless populist demagoguery. On the left, liberals must reckon with an equally hard truth: Identity Politics has failed. Driven by a sincere desire to protect the most vulnerable Americans, liberals have promoted a misguided rhetoric that has balkanized the electorate, encouraged individuals to look inward, and failed to offer a persuasive narrative championing government’s crucial role in creating a better society. Embracing noble defeat over messy compromise, many liberals have forgotten how real political change is achieved—a stance that has allowed them to become marginalized in every realm of government, from Washington, DC, to the state and local level. Though devastating, the 2016 election also offers liberals an opportunity to create a new, forward-thinking political narrative—one that reasserts the importance of solidarity, equal protection of the law, and communal purpose, while engaging in the difficult work of building a government to help every American. Blistering and challenging, The Once and Future Liberal is a roadmap and manifesto for twenty-first century liberal politics that can profoundly reshape our national conversation—and transform the left into a formidable, united force for positive change.
Category: Political Science

New French Thought

Author : Mark Lilla
ISBN : 9781400863853
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 52.45 MB
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The past fifteen years in France have seen a remarkable flourishing of new work in political philosophy. This anthology brings into English for the first time essays by some of the best young French political thinkers writing today, including Marcel Gauchet, Pierre Manent, Luc Ferry, and Alain Renaut. The central theme of these essays is liberal democracy: its nature, its development, its problems, its fundamental legitimacy. Although these themes are familiar to American and British readers, the French approach to them--which is profoundly historical and rooted in the tradition of continental philosophy--is quite different from our customary one. Included in this collection is a series of reconsiderations of French critics of liberal society (Lévi-Strauss, Foucault, Bourdieu) and of classical European liberals (Kant, Constant, Tocqueville). The continuing controversies over the nature of the modern era and the place of religion within it play a central role throughout the collection. The book includes a debate on the foundations of human rights and on the nature of a liberal political order. The concluding section presents some of the new sociological writing on modern individualism, its pleasures and its discontents. An introduction by Mark Lilla provides the historical background to the revival of French political thought about liberalism, and offers an analysis of what American and English readers might learn from it. Originally published in 1994. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Category: Philosophy

The Reactionary Mind

Author : Corey Robin
ISBN : 9780190692025
Genre : History
File Size : 82.64 MB
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Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like sex." With this unlikely conversation began Robin's decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what's truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them? In The Reactionary Mind, Robin traces conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution. He argues that the right was inspired, and is still united, by its hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market; others oppose it. Some criticize the state; others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality -- while simultaneously making populist appeals to the masses. Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society -- one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention have been critical to their success. Written by a highly-regarded, keen observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia and Donald Trump, and from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all right-wing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back. When its first edition appeared in 2011, The Reactionary Mind set off a fierce debate. It has since been acclaimed as "the book that predicted Trump" (New Yorker) and "one of the more influential political works of the last decade" (Washington Monthly). Now updated to include Trump's election and his first one hundred days in office, The Reactionary Mind is more relevant than ever.
Category: History

The Stillborn God

Author : Mark Lilla
ISBN : 9780307472717
Genre : Religion
File Size : 80.40 MB
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A brilliant account of religion's role in the political thinking of the West, from the Enlightenment to the close of World War II. The wish to bring political life under God's authority is nothing new, and it's clear that today religious passions are again driving world politics, confounding expectations of a secular future. In this major book, Mark Lilla reveals the sources of this age-old quest-and its surprising role in shaping Western thought. Making us look deeper into our beliefs about religion, politics, and the fate of civilizations, Lilla reminds us of the modern West's unique trajectory and how to remain on it. Illuminating and challenging, The Stillborn God is a watershed in the history of ideas. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Religion

The Legacy Of Isaiah Berlin

Author : Mark Lilla
ISBN : 1590170091
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 76.98 MB
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In the fall of 1998, one year after the death of Isaiah Berlin, the New York Institute for the Humanities organized a conference to consider his intellectual legacy. The scholars who participated devoted much of their attention to the question of pluralism, which for Berlin was central to liberal values. His belief in pluralism was at the core of his philosophical writings as well as his studies of contemporary politics and the history of ideas. The papers given at the conference and collected in this volume concentrate on three aspects of Berlin's concept of pluralism. Aileen Kelly, Mark Lilla, and Steven Lukes trace the development and consequences of his distinction between "hedgehogs," thinkers who have a single, unified theory of human action and history, and "foxes," who believe in multiplicity and resist the impulse to subject humanity to a universal vision. Ronald Dworkin, Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, and Charles Taylor examine how liberalism can be sustained in the face of Berlin's insight that equally legitimate values, such as liberty and equality, may come into irreconcilable conflict. Avishai Margalit, Richard Wollheim, Michael Walzer, and Robert Silvers take up Berlin's advocacy for the State of Israel and his hopes for it as a place where the often contrary values of liberalism and nationalism might find harmonious resolution. The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin includes not only the panelists' contributions but also transcripts of the lively exchanges among themselves and with audience members following each session. The two days of discussion preserved here demonstrate the continuing vitality and relevance of Isaiah Berlin's thought in today's social and political debates.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

G B Vico

Author : Mark Lilla
ISBN : 0674339630
Genre : History
File Size : 33.17 MB
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The Italian scholar Giovanni Battista Vico is widely viewed as the first modern philosopher of history, a judgment largely based on his obscure 1744 masterpiece, New Science. In this new study Mark Lilla complicates this picture by presenting Vico as one of the most troubling of anti-modern thinkers. By combing Vico's neglected early writings on metaphysics and jurisprudence, Lilla reveals the philosopher's deep reservations about the modern outlook and shows how his science of history grew out of these very doubts. In works such as the untranslated Universal Right (1720-1722), a treatise on natural law, Vico emerges as a profoundly political and theological thinker who contrasted the authoritative traditions of an idealized Rome against the corrupting skepticism endemic in modern life. Vico explicitly blamed this skepticism on the founders of modern philosophy, particularly Descartes. Placed in the context of his critique of skepticism, Vico's "new science" of history appears in a wholly new light. Though modern in form, it can be seen here for what it was: a pessimistic vindication of divine authority directed against the freedom and reason that characterize the modern age. This first truly comprehensive introduction to Vico ties his concerns for authority, politics, and civil religion to his theory of history. As such, it raises provocative questions about the subsequent intellectual development of the anti-modern tradition as it relates to the historical and social sciences of our time. It is a brilliant antidote to the "standard" reading of Vico and will transform studies of his work.
Category: History