by Dick Howard, The Specter Of Democracy Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Download The Specter Of Democracy book, In this rethinking of Marxism and its blind spots, Dick Howard argues that the collapse of European communism in 1989 should not be identified with a victory for capitalism and makes possible a wholesale reevaluation of democratic politics in the U.S. and abroad. The author turns to the American and French Revolutions to uncover what was truly "revolutionary" about those events, arguing that two distinct styles of democratic life emerged, the implications of which were misinterpreted in light of the rise of communism. Howard uses a critical rereading of Marx as a theorist of democracy to offer his audience a new way to think about this political ideal. He argues that it is democracy, rather than Marxism, that is radical and revolutionary, and that Marx could have seen this but did not. In Part I, Howard explores the attraction Marxism held for intellectuals, particularly French intellectuals, and he demonstrates how the critique of totalitarianism from a Marxist viewpoint allowed these intellectuals to see the radical nature of democracy. Part II examines two hundred years of democratic political life—comparing America's experience as a democracy to that of France. Part III offers a rethinking of Marx's contribution to democratic politics. Howard concludes that Marx was attempting a "philosophy by other means," and that paradoxically, just because he was such an astute philosopher, Marx was unable to see the radical political implications of his own analyses. The philosophically justified "revolution" turns out to be the basis of an anti-politics whose end was foreshadowed by the fall of European communism in 1989.
by Sheldon S. Wolin, Democracy Incorporated Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Download Democracy Incorporated book, 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.
by Michael G. Hanchard, The Spectre Of Race Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Download The Spectre Of Race book, How racism and discrimination have been central to democracies from the classical period to today As right-wing nationalism and authoritarian populism gain momentum across the world, liberals, and even some conservatives, worry that democratic principles are under threat. In The Spectre of Race, Michael Hanchard argues that the current rise in xenophobia and racist rhetoric is nothing new and that exclusionary policies have always been central to democratic practices since their beginnings in classical times. Contending that democracy has never been for all people, Hanchard discusses how marginalization is reinforced in modern politics, and why these contradictions need to be fully examined if the dynamics of democracy are to be truly understood. Hanchard identifies continuities of discriminatory citizenship from classical Athens to the present and looks at how democratic institutions have promoted undemocratic ideas and practices. The longest-standing modern democracies--France, Britain, and the United States—profited from slave labor, empire, and colonialism, much like their Athenian predecessor. Hanchard follows these patterns through the Enlightenment and to the states and political thinkers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and he examines how early political scientists, including Woodrow Wilson and his contemporaries, devised what Hanchard has characterized as "racial regimes" to maintain the political and economic privileges of dominant groups at the expense of subordinated ones. Exploring how democracies reconcile political inequality and equality, Hanchard debates the thorny question of the conditions under which democracies have created and maintained barriers to political membership. Showing the ways that race, gender, nationality, and other criteria have determined a person's status in political life, The Spectre ofRace offers important historical context for how democracy generates political difference and inequality.
by Sheldon S. Wolin, Democracy Incorporated Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Download Democracy Incorporated book, 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.
by David M. Driesen, The Specter Of Dictatorship Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Download The Specter Of Dictatorship book, Reveals how the U.S. Supreme Court's presidentialism threatens our democracy and what to do about it. Donald Trump's presidency made many Americans wonder whether our system of checks and balances would prove robust enough to withstand an onslaught from a despotic chief executive. In The Specter of Dictatorship, David Driesen analyzes the chief executive's role in the democratic decline of Hungary, Poland, and Turkey and argues that an insufficiently constrained presidency is one of the most important systemic threats to democracy. Driesen urges the U.S. to learn from the mistakes of these failing democracies. Their experiences suggest, Driesen shows, that the Court must eschew its reliance on and expansion of the "unitary executive theory" recently endorsed by the Court and apply a less deferential approach to presidential authority, invoked to protect national security and combat emergencies, than it has in recent years. Ultimately, Driesen argues that concern about loss of democracy should play a major role in the Court's jurisprudence, because loss of democracy can prove irreversible. As autocracy spreads throughout the world, maintaining our democracy has become an urgent matter.
by Sheldon S. Wolin, Tocqueville Between Two Worlds Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Download Tocqueville Between Two Worlds book, 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.
by Sheldon S. Wolin, Fugitive Democracy Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Download Fugitive Democracy book, Sheldon Wolin was one of the most influential and original political thinkers of the past fifty years. In Fugitive Democracy, the breathtaking range of Wolin’s scholarship, political commitment, and critical acumen are on full display in this authoritative and accessible collection of essays. This book brings together his most important writings, from classic essays 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. Wolin critically engages a diverse range of political theorists, and grapples with topics such as power, modernization, the sixties, revolutionary politics, and inequality, all the while showcasing enduring commitment to writing civic-minded theoretical commentary on the most pressing political issues of the day. 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.
by Dick Howard, The Primacy Of The Political Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Download The Primacy Of The Political book, "A survey of Western political thought from the Greeks to the threshold of the present, this book fulfills its aims successfully and admirably. It is clearly written and thematically unified in spite of its huge terrain. One thing it does very well is link political theories to the historical, political, and religious circumstances in which they are embedded, providing the lay reader, serious student of political philosophy, and political philosopher with a road-map and orientation in the history of political thought. A significant contribution."ùDavid Carr, Emory University The Conflict Between Politics And Antipolitics has replayed throughout Western history and philosophical thought. From the beginning, Plato's quest for absolute certainty led him to denounce democracy, an anti-political position challenged by Aristotle. In his wide-ranging narrative, Dick Howard puts this dilemma into fresh perspective, proving our contemporary political problems are not as unique as we think. Howard begins with democracy in ancient Greece and the rise and fall of republican politics in Rome. In the wake of Rome's collapse, political thought searched for a new medium, and the conflict between politics and antipolitics reemerged through the contrasting theories of Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas. During the Renaissance and Reformation, the emergence of the modern individual again transformed the terrain of the political. Even so, politics vs. antipolitics dominated the period, frustrating even Machiavelli, who sought to reconceptualize the nature of political thought. Hobbes and Locke, theorists of the social contract, then reenacted the conflict, which Rousseau sought (in vain) to overcome. Adam Smith and the growth of modern economic liberalism, the radicalism of the French Revolution, and the conservative reaction of Edmund Burke subsequently marked the triumph of antipolitics, while the American Revolution momentarily offered the potential for a renewal of politics. Taken together, these historical examples, viewed through the prism of philosophy, reveal the roots of today's political climate and the trajectory of battles yet to come. "The analytical distinction of plurality, diversity, and unity is a good way to think about the common themes of these political thinkers in different social and historical contexts. Explaining several texts across different periods is a daunting task, and Dick Howard should be commended for the work he has done."ùR. Claire Snyder-Hall, George Mason University