Description : LARGE PRINT EDITION! More at LargePrintLiberty.com Étienne de La Boétie was born in Sarlat, in the Périgord region of southwest France, in 1530, to an aristocratic family, and became a dear friend of Michel de Montaigne. But he ought to be remembered for this astonishingly important essay, one of the greatest in the history of political thought. It will shake the way you think of the state. His thesis and argument amount to the best answer to Machiavelli ever penned as well as one of the seminal essays in defense of liberty.La Boétie's task is to investigate the nature of the state and its strange status as a tiny minority of the population that adheres to different rules from everyone else and claims the authority to rule everyone else, maintaining a monopoly on law. It strikes him as obviously implausible that such an institution has any staying power. It can be overthrown in an instant if people withdraw their consent.He then investigates the mystery as to why people do not withdraw, given what is obvious to him that everyone would be better off without the state. This sends him on a speculative journey to investigate the power of propaganda, fear, and ideology in causing people to acquiesce in their own subjection. Is it cowardice? Perhaps. Habit and tradition. Perhaps. Perhaps it is ideological illusion and intellectual confusion.
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Description : In 1550, Étienne de la Boétie wrote his classic work of political reflection, Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, which laid the ground work for the concept of civil disobedience, and as such, has exerted an important influence on the traditions of dissidence from Thoreau and Ralph Emerson, to Tolstoy, to Gandhi. Along with the complete text of Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, this edition includes a comprehensive 100-page biography, written by 19th century author Paul Bonnefon, on the life and times of de La Boétie. It was the only one ever written, and it has never before been published in English.
Description : The rise of populism, cynicism, fanaticism and fundamentalism challenges us to reconsider the problem of ressentiment. Characterized by Nietzsche as the self-poisoning of the will through internalising trauma in the form of a postponed and imaginary revenge, the concept of ressentiment is making a comeback in political discourse. Unlike resentment, the feeling of injustice, ressentiment is an intrinsically polemical notion. It implies a political drama in which there is no inherent good sense in its application and no universal criterion. Drawing on psychoanalysis, political theory, media theory and philosophy, this book examines a wide variety of ideological contexts, offering an examination of the divergent senses in which the concept of ressentiment is used today.
Description : Articulates the intersection of anarchism and poststructuralism in order to frame a new approach to politics: 'postanarchism'.
Description : In Freedom's Progress?, Gerard Casey argues that the progress of freedom has largely consisted in an intermittent and imperfect transition from tribalism to individualism, from the primacy of the collective to the fragile centrality of the individual person and of freedom. Such a transition is, he argues, neither automatic nor complete, nor are relapses to tribalism impossible. The reason for the fragility of freedom is simple: the importance of individual freedom is simply not obvious to everyone. Most people want security in this world, not liberty. 'Libertarians,' writes Max Eastman, 'used to tell us that "the love of freedom is the strongest of political motives," but recent events have taught us the extravagance of this opinion. The "herd-instinct" and the yearning for paternal authority are often as strong. Indeed the tendency of men to gang up under a leader and submit to his will is of all political traits the best attested by history.' The charm of the collective exercises a perennial magnetic attraction for the human spirit. In the 20th century, Fascism, Bolshevism and National Socialism were, Casey argues, each of them a return to tribalism in one form or another and many aspects of our current Western welfare states continue to embody tribalist impulses. Thinkers you would expect to feature in a history of political thought feature in this book - Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Locke, Mill and Marx - but you will also find thinkers treated in Freedom's Progress? who don't usually show up in standard accounts - Johannes Althusius, Immanuel Kant, William Godwin, Max Stirner, Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Pyotr Kropotkin, Josiah Warren, Benjamin Tucker and Auberon Herbert. Freedom's Progress? also contains discussions of the broader social and cultural contexts in which politics takes its place, with chapters on slavery, Christianity, the universities, cities, Feudalism, law, kingship, the Reformation, the English Revolution and what Casey calls Twentieth Century Tribalisms - Bolshevism, Fascism and National Socialism and an extensive chapter on human prehistory.
Description : This edited volume seeks to provide guidance on how we can approach questions of governing and agency—particularly those who endeavour to embark on grounded empirical research— by rendering explicit some key challenges, tensions, dilemmas, and confluences that such endeavours elicit. Indeed, the contributions in this volume reflect the growing tendency in governmentality studies to shift focus to empirically grounded studies. The volume thus explicitly aims to move from theory to practice, and to step back from the more top-down governmentality studies approach to one that examines how one can/does study how relations of power affect lives, experience and agency. This book offers insight into the intricate relations between the workings of governing and (the possibility for) people’s agency on the one hand, and about the possible effects of our attempts to engage in such studies on the other. In numerous ways, and from different starting points, the contributions to this volume provide thoughtful insights into, and creative suggestions for, how to work with the methodological challenges of studying the agency of being governed. This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of international relations, global governance and research methods.
Description : The greatest accomplishment of Western civilization is arguably the achievement of individual liberty through limits on the power of the state. In the war-torn twentieth century, we rarely hear that one of the main costs of armed conflict is long-term loss of liberty to winners and losers alike. Beyond the obvious and direct costs of dead and wounded soldiers, there is the lifetime struggle of veterans to live with their nightmares and their injuries; the hidden economic costs of inflation, debts, and taxes; and more generally the damages caused to our culture, our morality, and to civilization at large. The new edition is now available in paperback, with a number of new essays. It represents a large-scale collective effort to pierce the veils of myth and propaganda to reveal the true costs of war, above all, the cost to liberty. Central to this volume are the views of Ludwig von Mises on war and foreign policy. Mises argued that war, along with colonialism and imperialism, is the greatest enemy of freedom and prosperity, and that peace throughout the world cannot be achieved until the central governments of the major nations become limited in scope and power. In the spirit of these theorems by Mises, the contributors to this volume consider the costs of war generally and assess specific corrosive effects of major American wars since the Revolution. The first section includes chapters on the theoretical and institutional dimensions of the relationship between war and society, including conscription, infringements on freedom, the military as an engine of social change, war and literature, and the right of citizens to bear arms. The second group includes reconsiderations of Lincoln and Churchill, an analysis of the anti-interventionist idea in American politics, a discussion of the meaning of the "just war," an assessment of how World War I changed the course of Western civilization, and finally two eyewitness accounts of the true horrors of actual combat by veterans of World War II. The Costs of War is unique in its combination of historical scope and timeliness for current debates about foreign policy and military intervention. It will be of interest to historians, political scientists, economists, and sociologists.