"[A] passionate, compelling, and disturbing argument that the ills of democracy in the United States today arise from the default of its elites." —John Gray, New York Times Book Review (front-page review) In a front-page review in the Washington Post Book World, John Judis wrote: "Political analysts have been poring over exit polls and precinct-level votes to gauge the meaning of last November's election, but they would probably better employ their time reading the late Christopher Lasch's book." And in the National Review, Robert Bork says The Revolt of the Elites "ranges provocatively [and] insightfully." Controversy has raged around Lasch's targeted attack on the elites, their loss of moral values, and their abandonment of the middle class and poor, for he sets up the media and educational institutions as a large source of the problem. In this spirited work, Lasch calls out for a return to community, schools that teach history not self-esteem, and a return to morality and even the teachings of religion. He does this in a nonpartisan manner, looking to the lessons of American history, and castigating those in power for the ever-widening gap between the economic classes, which has created a crisis in American society. The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy is riveting social commentary.
Christopher Lasch montre ici comment des élites hédonistes assoient leur pouvoir sur un culte de la marge et sur un fantasme de l'émancipation permanente. Alors qu'elles sont responsables des normes imposées à la société, leurs comportements consistent à feindre d'être hors norme. Cette dialectique mensongère de la norme et de la marge, remarquablement démontée dans ces pages, est celle de notre temps. Voici un livre qui devrait faire réfléchir tous ceux qui s'inquiètent de l'évolution d'un espace public et médiatique où les élites émancipées se mettent le plus souvent du côté de la transgression en imaginant un ordre moral, un éternel retour de la censure qui ne sont que la contrepartie de leurs transgressions imaginaires. Le testament d'un grand intellectuel anticonformiste, politiquement très incorrect, inclassable et dérangeant.
Five long essays by an American historian, the author of The New Radicalism in America (1965). Under the rubric of "the collapse of mass-based radical movements," Lasch examines the decline of populism, the disintegration of the American socialist party, and the weaknesses of black nationalism. Also included is a history of the Congress for Cultural Freedom and a discussion of the '60's revival of ideological controversy.
The classic New York Times bestseller, with a new introduction by E.J. Dionne Jr. When The Culture of Narcissism was first published in 1979, Christopher Lasch was hailed as a “biblical prophet” (Time). Lasch’s identification of narcissism as not only an individual ailment but also a burgeoning social epidemic was groundbreaking. His diagnosis of American culture is even more relevant today, predicting the limitless expansion of the anxious and grasping narcissistic self into every part of American life. The Culture of Narcissism offers an astute and urgent analysis of what we need to know in these troubled times.
Julien Benda's classic study of 1920s Europe resonates today. The "treason of the intellectuals" is a phrase that evokes much but is inherently ambiguous. The book bearing this title is well known but little understood. This edition is introduced by Roger Kimball. From the time of the pre-Socratics, intellectuals were a breed apart. They were non-materialistic knowledge-seekers who believed in a universal humanism and represented a cornerstone of civilized society. According to Benda, this all began to change in the early twentieth century. In Europe in the 1920s, intellectuals began abandoning their attachment to traditional philosophical and scholarly ideals, and instead glorified particularisms and moral relativism. The "treason" of which Benda writes is the betrayal by the intellectuals of their unique vocation. He criticizes European intellectuals for allowing political commitment to insinuate itself into their understanding of the intellectual vocation, ushering the world into "the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds." From the savage flowering of ethnic and religious hatreds in the Middle East and throughout Europe today to the mendacious demand for political correctness and multiculturalism on college campuses everywhere in the West, the treason of the intellectuals continues to play out its unedifying drama.
A serious introduction to the use of nonviolent action to topple dictatorships. Based on the author's study, over a period of forty years, on non-violent methods of demonstration, it was originally published in 1993 in Thailand for distribution among Burmese dissidents.
Explores the history of love, marriage, and feminism from ancient and medieval times into modernity, studying the shapes women's experience has taken and why and considering the impact of politics and economics.
Essays depicting the actions and efforts of such individuals as Jane Addams, Walter Lippmann, and Lincoln Steffens trace the development of the twentieth-century social reform movement
World of Nations
Author: Christopher Lasch
The world of nations is the world men have made, in contrast to the world of nature. Seeking to understand the civil society Americans have made, Christopher Lasch, author of The Agony of the American Left, reexamines the liberal and radical traditions in the United States and the limitations of both, along the way challenging a number of accepted interpretations of American history.
"Even more valuable than its widely praised predecessor, The Culture of Narcissism." —John W. Aldridge Faced with an escalating arms race, rising crime and terrorism, environmental deterioration, and long-term economic decline, people have retreated from commitments that presuppose a secure and orderly world. In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self-concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a search for psychic survival.
Considérées sous l’angle historique, les technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC) témoignent d’une cohérence favorable à l’innovation et au progrès technique, qui va dans le sens recherché par les élites. Bien que poussée par des avancées spectaculaires dans le domaine scientifique et par une dynamique de marché bien adaptée au réseau mondial Internet, à la téléphonie mobile et à la télévision numérique, la pratique des TIC présente des failles importantes et des risques non négligeables, du fait de l’absence de responsabilité dans le domaine de la gestion de réseau et de la pluralité des réalisations techniques. Sur la base du développement des TIC dans plusieurs pays, l’ouvrage analyse les liens qui, dans l’histoire humaine, associent ces techniques, la politique et l’économie, et montre que l’agitation incontrôlable de l’innovation poussée par le souci du profit à tout prix demande l’intervention d’une autorité de niveau moral ou politique.
The Plebeian Experience
Author: Martin Breaugh
Publisher: Columbia University Press
How do people excluded from political life achieve political agency? Through a series of historical events that have been mostly overlooked by political theorists, Martin Breaugh identifies fleeting yet decisive instances of emancipation in which people took it upon themselves to become political subjects. Emerging during the Roman plebs's first secession in 494 BCE, the plebeian experience consists of an underground or unexplored configuration of political strategies to obtain political freedom. The people reject domination through political praxis and concerted action, therefore establishing an alternative form of power. Breaugh's study concludes in the nineteenth century and integrates ideas from sociology, philosophy, history, and political science. Organized around diverse case studies, his work undertakes exercises in political theory to show how concepts provide a different understanding of the meaning of historical events and our political present. The Plebeian Experience describes a recurring phenomenon that clarifies struggles for emancipation throughout history, expanding research into the political agency of the many and shedding light on the richness of radical democratic struggles from ancient Rome to Occupy Wall Street and beyond.
Before the 2011 uprisings, the Middle East and North Africa were frequently seen as a uniquely undemocratic region with little civic activism. The first edition of this volume, published at the start of the Arab Spring, challenged these views by revealing a region rich with social and political mobilizations. This fully revised second edition extends the earlier explorations of Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, and adds new case studies on the uprisings in Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen. The case studies are inspired by social movement theory, but they also critique and expand the horizons of the theory's classical concepts of political opportunity structures, collective action frames, mobilization structures, and repertoires of contention based on intensive fieldwork. This strong empirical base allows for a nuanced understanding of contexts, culturally conditioned rationality, the strengths and weaknesses of local networks, and innovation in contentious action to give the reader a substantive understanding of events in the Arab world before and since 2011.
The Paradox of Liberation
Author: Michael Walzer
Publisher: Yale University Press
Many of the successful campaigns for national liberation in the years following World War II were initially based on democratic and secular ideals. Once established, however, the newly independent nations had to deal with entirely unexpected religious fierceness. Michael Walzer, one of America’s foremost political thinkers, examines this perplexing trend by studying India, Israel, and Algeria, three nations whose founding principles and institutions have been sharply attacked by three completely different groups of religious revivalists: Hindu militants, ultra-Orthodox Jews and messianic Zionists, and Islamic radicals. In his provocative, well-reasoned discussion, Walzer asks why these secular democratic movements have failed to sustain their hegemony: Why have they been unable to reproduce their political culture beyond one or two generations? In a postscript, he compares the difficulties of contemporary secularism to the successful establishment of secular politics in the early American republic—thereby making an argument for American exceptionalism but gravely noting that we may be less exceptional today.
Examines two opposing world-views of progress within Western civilization