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Rational Radicalism and the Future of Politics
The online publication Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture was launched in response to the atmosphere of triumphant conservatism and militarism that pervades American political culture in the aftermath of 9/11. Aiming to revitalize the moribund political left, several world-renowned intellectual figures congregated to form the journal’s core group of editors and writers. The mission of Logos is to promote “rational radicalism,” grounded in critical social theory and fully engaged with the most vital issues of our time. The Logos Reader: Rational Radicalism and the Future of Politics offers the best political writing published by the journal during its first three years. Compiled by founding editors Stephen Eric Bronner and Michael J. Thompson, these pieces critically examine globalization, the Iraq War, and the plight of the Middle East, while also illuminating the domestic concerns that dominate American discourse. Delivered in a direct, accessible manner, the analyses presented in The Logos Reader reflect the journal’s distinctly public purpose. The essays reveal both the practical and theoretical connections between distant military pursuits and domestic struggles for democracy and equality. The left’s leading intellectuals shed light on the most recent developments in the global war on terrorism while sharply criticizing right-wing justifications for restricted civil liberties, human rights violations, and rampant expansion of armaments. Similar attention is given to central domestic issues, such as the conservative right’s assault on the welfare state and the crusade of religious fundamentalists against civil rights protections for all citizens. Negotiating the vast terrain of current social problems, the contributors are united in their intent to question and ultimately constrain the excessive power wielded by dominant cultural, political, and economic institutions. This collection stakes out firm ideological ground and challenges authoritarian forces, clarifying the notion of rational radicalism as a liberating counterpoint to limiting worldviews and systems of oppression.
Process, Dialectics, and the Critique of Capitalism
Marx and Whitehead boldly asks us to reconsider capitalism, not merely as an “economic system” but as a fundamentally self-destructive mode that, by its very nature and operation, undermines the cohesive fabric of human existence. Author Anne Fairchild Pomeroy asserts that it is impossible to appreciate fully the impact of Marx’s critique of capitalism without understanding the philosophical system that underlies it. Alfred North Whitehead’s work is used to forge a systematic link between process philosophy and dialectical materialism via the category of production. Whitehead’s process thought brings Marx’s philosophical vision into sharper focus. This union provides the grounds for Pomeroy’s claim that the heart of Marx’s critique of capitalism is fundamentally ontological, and that therefore the necessary condition for genuine human flourishing lies in overcoming the capitalist form of social relations.
Ignoring, Evading, and Trumping the Supreme Court
Based on an award-winning dissertation, Merely Judgment examines what happens after a Supreme Court decision is handed down--in particular how governments and other institutions can derail the implementation of Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action in governmental contracting; also flag burning, hate speech, and school prayer.
Technology in Search of a Mission
" This revised and updated edition identifies the cultural factors and specific administrative agendas that have shaped the way we view ballistic missile technology. Three new sections connect our recent, sudden shifts in foreign policy to ongoing historical patterns. Whether cautioning against the “almost neurotic pursuit of absolute security” or examining the powerful influence of religion on military buildup, Ernest J.Yanarella uncovers the deeply ingrained attitudes that will determine the future of American missile defense.
The Evolving Latino Electorate and the Future of American Politics
The growth of the Latino population is the most significant demographic shift in the United States today. Yet growth alone cannot explain this population’s increasing impact on the electorate; nor can a parsing of its subethnicities. In the most significant analysis to date on the growing political activation of Latinos, Ricardo Ramírez identifies when and where Latino participation in the political process has come about as well as its many motivations. Using a state-centered approach, the author focuses on the interaction between demographic factors and political contexts, from long-term trends in party competition, to the resources and mobilization efforts of ethnic organizations and the Spanish-language media, to the perception of political threat as a basis for mobilization.
The picture that emerges is one of great temporal and geographic variation. In it, Ramírez captures the transformation of Latinos’ civic and political reality and the engines behind the evolution of this crucial electorate.
Race, Ethnicity, and Politics
That large ¹nancial contributions distort American politics and American democracy is an idea that stands as a truism in political debate. It has ¹red reform movements; it has inspired round after round of efforts to limit who can give to candidates and parties, how much they can give, and how much campaigns can spend. The laws have generated constitutional arguments about free speech, a still inconclusive literature on whether contributions actually shape policy, and a great deal of work for lawyers and ¹nancial analysts who monitor compliance. In the wake of Enron's collapse and subsequent revelations about that corporation's involvement with policymakers, the public's attention has once again focused on the role that money plays in politics. Little of the scholarly work (and none of the legal work) is historical. Yet history can shed light on the long-running debate about the impact of money on politics and what, if anything, are plausible policy options. This collection of original essays is a step in that direction. The chapters cover episodes from the early nineteenth century through the 1970s. They illustrate how deep concern about money in politics runs--and how the de¹nition of the problem has changed over time. Through the nineteenth century, the "spoils system" in which party loyalists gained reward for their efforts appeared to be the evil that blocked responsive parties and honest public administration. Party war chests that brought howls of complaint (and great exaggeration) seemed quaint by the middle of the twentieth century. In part because reform had weakened the parties and campaigns required consultants' skills in coordination and in part because television advertising was so expensive, the cost of campaigns rose. Candidates griped and policy entrepreneurs worked out possible solutions, which were in place before the Watergate scandal focused public attention on campaign ¹nance. In the history of campaign-¹nance reform, one generation's solutions have tended to become another's problem. Contributors to the volume are Paula Baker, Robert Mutch, Mark Wahlgren Summers, and Julian E. Zelizer.
Number 78 (2013) through current issue
New Formations publishes original work that explores the uses of cultural theory for the analysis of political and social issues â be they historical or contemporary â and it publishes work from any discipline which meets this criterion, or which bears directly upon current debates within cultural theory, cultural studies, or the wider critical humanities or social sciences.
Culture, Politics, and the Animality of the Human Being
This book explores the significance of human animality in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and provides the first systematic treatment of the animal theme in Nietzsche's corpus as a whole Lemm argues that the animal is neither a random theme nor a metaphorical device in Nietzsche's thought. Instead, it stands at the center of his renewal of the practice and meaning of philosophy itself. Lemm provides an original contribution to on-going debates on the essence of humanism and its future. At the center of this new interpretation stands Nietzsche's thesis that animal life and its potential for truth, history, and morality depends on a continuous antagonism between forgetfulness (animality) and memory (humanity). This relationship accounts for the emergence of humanity out of animality as a function of the antagonism between civilization and culture. By taking the antagonism of culture and civilization to be fundamental for Nietzsche's conception of humanity and its becoming, Lemm gives a new entry point into the political significance of Nietzsche's thought. The opposition between civilization and culture allows for the possibility that politics is more than a set of civilizational techniques that seek to manipulate, dominate, and exclude the animality of the human animal. By seeing the deep-seated connections of politics with culture, Nietzsche orients politics beyond the domination over life and, instead, offers the animality of the human being a positive, creative role in the organization of life. Lemm's book presents Nietzsche as the thinker of an emancipatory and affirmative biopolitics.This book will appeal not only to readers interested in Nietzsche, but also to anyone interested in the theme of the animal in philosophy, literature, cultural studies and the arts, as well as those interested in the relation between biological life and politics.
African American Freemasonry and the Struggle for Democracy in America
A Noble Fight examines the metaphors and meanings behind the African American appropriation of the culture, ritual, and institution of freemasonry in navigating the contested domain of American democracy. Combining cultural and political theory with extensive archival research--including the discovery of a rare collection of nineteenth-century records of an African American Freemason Lodge--Corey D. B. Walker provides an innovative perspective on American politics and society during the long transition from slavery to freedom. With great care and detail, Walker argues that African American freemasonry provides a critical theoretical lens for understanding the distinctive ways African Americans have constructed a radically democratic political imaginary through racial solidarity and political nationalism, forcing us to reconsider much more circumspectly the complex relationship between voluntary associations and democratic politics.
De Regimine Principum
Ptolemy, considered a proto-Humanist by some, combined the principles of Northern Italian republicanism with Aristotelian theory in his De Regimine Principum, a book that influenced much of the political thought of the later Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the early modern period. He was the first to attack kingship as despotism and to draw parallels between ancient Greek models of mixed constitution and the Roman Republic, biblical rule, the Church, and medieval government.
In addition to his translation of this important and radical medieval political treatise, written around 1300, James M. Blythe includes a sixty-page introduction to the work and provides over 1200 footnotes that trace Ptolemy's sources, explain his references, and comment on the text, the translation, the context, and the significance.