Putting Liberalism in Its Place
Princeton University Press, 2009 M01 10 - 336 páginas
In this wide-ranging interdisciplinary work, Paul W. Kahn argues that political order is founded not on contract but on sacrifice. Because liberalism is blind to sacrifice, it is unable to explain how the modern state has brought us to both the rule of law and the edge of nuclear annihilation. We can understand this modern condition only by recognizing that any political community, even a liberal one, is bound together by faith, love, and identity.
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More importantly, we will not understand the way in which the nation-state presents itself to the citizen as an ultimate value, that is, one for which the citizen may be asked to sacrifice his or her life. Liberal thought, as well as ...
Quite literally, we can be conscripted by the state: it can demand of us that we sacrifice the self for the maintenance of the political community. To comprehend this experience, we need more than the philosopher's conception of reason, ...
24 Personally, I have little taste for the politics of faith and sacrifice that I believe to be constitutive of an American culture of popular sovereignty. My own beliefs in this regard, however, are as irrelevant to the analysis as my ...
I think our politics continues to demand sacrifice, and it is all too often violent. I don't, however, celebrate these aspects of our experience. Nevertheless, I do insist that we confront the character of our political faith.
Chapter 4 makes this transition by demonstrating that liberalism fails as a theory of politics because it substitutes contract for sacrifice. Chapters 5 and 6 develop this richer account of ourselves and of our politics based on the ...
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