Requiem for Modern Politics: The Tragedy of the by William Ophuls

By William Ophuls

This long-promised sequel to Ophuls’ influential and arguable vintage Ecology and the Politics of shortage is an both provocative critique of the liberal philosophy of presidency. Ophuls contends that the fashionable political paradigm—that is, the physique of political ideas and ideology bequeathed to us via the Enlightenment—is now not intellectually tenable or virtually workable. Our try to stay individualistically, hedonistically, and rationally has failed completely, inflicting a entire main issue that's straight away political, army, fiscal, ecological, moral, mental, and non secular. Liberal politics has deserted advantage, rejected neighborhood, and flouted nature, thereby turning into the writer of its personal demise.By exposing the intrinsically contradictory and self-destructive personality of Hobbesian political platforms, Ophuls subverts our traditional knowledge at each flip. certainly, his impassioned textual content reads extra like a Greek tragedy than like a traditional political argument. He evaluations feminism, multiculturalism, the welfare nation, and a bunch of different “liberal” shibboleths—but Ophuls isn't really one other reactionary neoconservative. the purpose of his thesis is way extra radical and innovative, delivering a political imaginative and prescient that solely transcends the types of liberal idea. His is a Thoreauvian imaginative and prescient of a “politics of consciousness” rooted in ecology because the ethical and highbrow foundation for governance within the twenty-first century. Ophuls holds polity in keeping with a renewed erotic reference to nature deals a real strategy to this situation of latest civilization and in basic terms inside this type of polity will it's attainable to satisfy the helpful liberal target of person self-development.Ophuls’ paintings will curiosity and problem a large spectrum of readers, notwithstanding it is going to now not unavoidably be good loved or simply permitted. not anyone will placed down this booklet together with his or her settled convictions approximately Western tradition intact, nor will readers ever back take glossy civilization and its survival with no consideration.

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So the issue is not whether we will have collective values, but what kind they will be. And how they will be manifested: in an oppressive political ideology or an uplifting moral code? In this light, the political, task is not to shy away 2 " Introduction from values but, rather, to establish, and then maintain, a principled basis For governance. But now we begin to anticipate the Conclusions, so let us turn to the main argument in Chapter 1 to see how we are being driven by the contradictions of the liberal paradigm toward the twin outcomes of anarchic self-destruction, partial or total, and totalitarianism, more or less benign.

It is also vulnerable to the effects of bad practices (such as erosion). Thus the higher the level oi agricultural development, the greater the need for managers standing over and above the cultivator. Third, and most important, larger numbers cannot be governed and more output cannot be obtained without a corresponding increase in social organization—and, in the final analysis, the latter requires political coercion. The so-called Neolithic Transition from hunting and gathering to primitive agriculture is therefore a transition from a natural economy to a political economy in which production is socially organized to increase output by artificial means.

In an equally nefarious development, the shaman turns into a spiritual king, a high priest who stands at the apex of a sacerdotal hierarchy paralleling the political and military hierarchies. Ordinary people no longer have a natural right to direct participation in the sacred mysteries: this is the prerogative of the priests, for they alone possess a divine mandate to instruct and rule the people in the name of the gods. But even the priests have lost the shaman's easy intimacy with the spirits.

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