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Fb2 Politics without Vision: Thinking without a Banister in the Twentieth Century ePub

by Tracy B. Strong

Category: Politics and Government
Subcategory: Political books
Author: Tracy B. Strong
ISBN: 0226777464
ISBN13: 978-0226777467
Language: English
Publisher: University of Chicago Press (April 20, 2012)
Pages: 424
Fb2 eBook: 1533 kb
ePub eBook: 1370 kb
Digital formats: mobi lrf azw lrf

Hanna Arendt coined the term "thinking without a banister", interestingly applied in this book to main 20th century thinkers, including Kant, Nietzsche, Max Weber, Freud, Lenin, Carl Schmidt, Heidegger and Arendt. The discourse on the various thinkers is enlightening.

In this article I take up the task of thinking without banisters through the work of Theodor W. Adorno.

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Tracy Strong develops this line of thinking by arguing not simply that we. .

Politics Without Vision : Thinking Without a Banister in the Twentieth Century. In the words of Hannah Arendt, the state of political thought in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has left us effectively "thinking without a banister

Politics Without Vision : Thinking Without a Banister in the Twentieth Century.

Автор: Strong Tracy B. Название: Politics Without Vision: Thinking Without a Banister in.

Approaching the history of early twentieth-century Indian politics from this perspective, the author takes issue with current interpretations of sectarian and nationalist politics which argue the salience of community identity and the irrelevance of class in political analysis.

PagesMediaBooks and s without Vision by Tracy B.Tankar om en värld utan magi och sanning. Strong. English (UK) · Русский · Українська · Suomi · Español. Tracy B. Strong: Politics without Vision: Thinking without a Banister in the Twentieth Century.

From Plato through the nineteenth century, the West could draw on comprehensive political visions to guide government and society. Now, for the first time in more than two thousand years, Tracy B. Strong contends, we have lost our foundational supports. In the words of Hannah Arendt, the state of political thought in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has left us effectively “thinking without a banister.”

Politics without Vision takes up the thought of seven influential thinkers, each of whom attempted to construct a political solution to this problem: Nietzsche, Weber, Freud, Lenin, Schmitt, Heidegger, and Arendt. None of these theorists were liberals nor, excepting possibly Arendt, were they democrats—and some might even be said to have served as handmaidens to totalitarianism. And all to a greater or lesser extent shared the common conviction that the institutions and practices of liberalism are inadequate to the demands and stresses of the present times. In examining their thought, Strong acknowledges the political evil that some of their ideas served to foster but argues that these were not necessarily the only paths their explorations could have taken. By uncovering the turning points in their thought—and the paths not taken—Strong strives to develop a political theory that can avoid, and perhaps help explain, the mistakes of the past while furthering the democratic impulse. Confronting the widespread belief that political thought is on the decline, Strong puts forth a brilliant and provocative counterargument that in fact it has endured—without the benefit of outside support.  A compelling rendering of contemporary political theory, Politics without Vision is sure to provoke discussion among scholars in many fields.
Comments to eBook Politics without Vision: Thinking without a Banister in the Twentieth Century
INvait
Hanna Arendt coined the term "thinking without a banister", interestingly applied in this book to main 20th century thinkers, including Kant, Nietzsche, Max Weber, Freud, Lenin, Carl Schmidt, Heidegger and Arendt. The discourse on the various thinkers is enlightening. It might perhaps be better not to rely on the glaring Nazi activities of Schmitt and Heidegger as a main key to their thinking, but this is a minor point. More disturbing is lack of a framework clarifying the meanings and implications of "without banister."
Expanding on Arendt, thinking without a banister, in the sense of lacking a deep grounding which guides thinking and action, such as a transcendental faith, a clear moral system or a guiding philosophy, is both an advantage and a disadvantage (as briefly recognized by the author on page 385). It is an advantage because pondering is not constrained and therefor may be more creative. But lacking a banister is also a disadvantage, because pondering may lack directions and get lost in mental labyrinths, up to moral relativism and nihilism.
Different and very dangerous is having misleading banisters which misdirect thinking and action. But this is quite different from having no banisters. Thus, Lenin clearly had banisters which he further developed in his impressive theoretic thinking which served as guide for his policies. Also, Lenin had a vision casting doubts on his inclusion in a book the main title of which is "Politics Without Vision." His banister and vision were in part wrong and therefore put the Soviet Union on an erroneous trajectory, which became tragic under Stalin, but this is another matter.
The author well presents and discussed some of the central views of the selected thinkers. But more critical discourse, independent from affiliation with Nazism and Communism, would add an important dimension to the book. Thus, Arendt was wrong in her favorable comments on nation states, not realizing the need for a strong global authority enforcing world-wide measures essential for coping with existential dangers, which she in part recognized, and for assuring the long-term existence of humanity. An appropriate global regime in turn needs grounding in a kind of feeling at home in the world as a whole, a sense of "mondialisaton" different from "globalization" (p. 349); and primary self-identity as belonging to the human species. Arendt recognized some of the dangers facing humanity, but ignored the transformations in the very nature of politics and communality essential for coping with them. But the author is very sparing in discussing the weaknesses on some of Arendt's views.
It is hard to escape the impression that if Arendt had some personal knowledge of the realities of politics she would have changed some of her views, such as paying more attention to "practical wisdom" and modalities of "truth" (such as "possible, "likely," and so on, as developed in modal logic), instead of getting astray in philosophic conceptions of truth only somewhat relevant for politics and political judgment. This applies to philosophical approaches to politics as a whole, as illustrated by the lessons Plato drew from his experience in Syracuse, as reflected in the differences between The Republic, The Statesman and The Laws. I dare say that if the author had spent parts of his life in the corridors of power this book would in part be different.
All these comments do not detract from the high quality of this volume in its own terms. But, to really benefit from it readers need quite some acquaintance with the writings of the persons discussed. I think the author should have clearly stated so and added a recommended reading list.
Given this constraint on one side and the important insights presented in this book on the other, it is highly recommended to philosophers, political scientists, and advanced students of these domains. Practicing politicians and general publics interested in politics need another version, which hopefully the author will write.
Professor Yehezkel Dror
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Marr
Absolutely outstanding analysis of major thinkers in 20th century intellectual life. Highest recommendato
fabscf
A great review and analysis of significant political theorists.
Authis
I have been paying more attention to Tracy Strong than other experts on Nietzsche because Strong can tell me more of what I want to think than I ever figured out for myself. The figs are ripe in this field of political economy with hyperbolic transactions slipping into the Y2K situation like banks have never expected anything.
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