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Politics and Vision:
Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought
Sheldon S. Wolin

Book Description | Reviews
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]


Preface to the Expanded Edition xv
Preface xxiii


Chapter One: Political Philosophy and Philosophy 3
I Political Philosophy as a Form of Inquiry 3
II Form and Substance 4
III Political Thought and Political Institutions 7
IV Political Philosophy and the Political 9
V The Vocabulary of Political Philosophy 12
VI Vision and Political Imagination 17
VII Political Concepts and Political Phenomena 20
VIII A Tradition of Discourse 21
IX Tradition and Innovation 23

Chapter Two: Plato: Political Philosophy versus Politics 27
I The Invention of Political Philosophy 27
II Philosophy and Society 32
III Politics and Architectonics 37
IV The Search for a Selfless Instrument 47
V The Question of Power 51
VI Political Knowledge and Political Participation 54
VII The Limits of Unity 58
VIII The Ambiguities of Plato 61

Chapter Three: The Age of Empire: Space and Community 63
I The Crisis in the Political 63
II The New Dimensions of Space 65
III Citizenship and Disengagement 70
IV Politics and the Roman Republic 75
V The Politics of Interest 79
VI From Political Association to Power Organization 82
VII The Decline of Political Philosophy 85

Chapter Four: The Early Christian Era: Time and Community 86
I The Political Element in Early Christianity: The New Notion of Community 86
II The Church as a Polity: The Challenge to the Political Order 95
III Politics and Power in a Church-Society 103
IV The Embarrassments of a Politicized Religion and the Task of Augustine 108
V The Identity of the Church-Society Reasserted: Time and Destiny 111
VI Political Society and Church-Society 115
VII The Language of Religion and the Language of Politics: Footnote on Mediaeval Christian Thought 118

Chapter Five: Luther: The Theological and the Political 127
I Political Theology 127
II The Political Element in Luther's Thought 128
III The Bias against Institutions 136
IV The Status of the Political Order 139
V The Political Order without Counterweight 143
VI The Fruits of Simplicity 145

Chapter Six: Calvin: The Political Education of Protestantism 148
I The Crisis in Order and Civility 148
II The Political Quality of Calvin's Thought 151
III The Political Theory of Church Government 158
IV The Restoration of the Political Order 160
V Political Knowledge 164
VI Political Office 166
VII Power and Community 170

Chapter Seven: Machiavelli: Politics and the Economy of Violence 175
I The Autonomy of Political Theory 175
II The Commitments of the Political Theorist 182
III The Nature of Politics and the Categories of the New Science 187
IV Political Space and Political Action 195
V The Economy of Violence 197
VI Ethics: Political and Private 200
VII The Discovery of the Mass 205
VIII Politics and Souls 211

Chapter Eight: Hobbes: Political Society as a System of Rules 214
I The Revival of Political Creativity 214
II Political Philosophy and the Revolution in Science 218
III The Promise of Political Philosophy 222
IV The Language of Politics: The Problem of Constituency 230
V Political Entropy: The State of Nature 235
VI The Sovereign Definer 238
VII Power without Community 243
VIII Interests and Representation 248
IX Politics as a Field of Forces 252

Chapter Nine: Liberalism and the Decline of Political Philosophy 257
I The Political and the Social 257
II Liberalism and the Sobrieties of Philosophy 263
III The Political Claims of Economic Theory 268
IV The Eclipse of Political Authority: The Discovery of Society 273
V Society and Government: Spontaneity versus Coercion 277
VI Liberalism and Anxiety 282
VII Beyond the Pleasure Principle: The Problem of Pain 292
VIII Liberalism and Moral Judgments: The Substitution of Interest for Conscience 297
IX Liberalism and Conformity: The Socialized Conscience 307

Chapter Ten: The Age of Organization and the Sublimation of Politics 315
I The Age of Organization 315
II Identifying a Tradition of Discourse 319
III Organization and Community 325
IV Rousseau: The Idea of Community 330
V Freedom and Impersonal Dependence 334
VI Saint-Simon: The Idea of Organization 336
VII Organization Theory and Methodology: Some Parallels 342
VIII Organization, Method, and Constitutional Theory 348
IX Communal Values in Organization 352
X The Attack on Economic Rationalism 360
XI Organization Theory: Rationalism versus Organicism 364
XII The Attack on the Political 371
XIII Elite and Mass: Action in the Age of Organization 376
XIV Concluding Remarks 384


Chapter Eleven: From Modern to Postmodern Power 393
I Celebrating the Death of the Past 393
II The Baconian Vision of Power 395
III Cultivating Mind and Method 397
IV Modern Power Realized 399
V Modern Power and Its Constituent Elements 400
VI Containing Power 402

Chapter Twelve: Marx: Theorist of the Political Economy of the Proletariat or of Uncollapsed Capitalism? 406
I Marx and Nietzsche: Economy or Culture? 406
II Marx and the Theoretical Vocation 407
III Marx and the Idea of a Political Economy 410
IV Working through the Idea of Democracy 412
V The Power of Theory 415
VI The Politics of Economy: The 1844 Manuscripts 416
VII The Historical Origins of Power 420
VIII Power, Force, and Violence 423
IX Modern Power Revealed 425
X Marx and Locke: Parallel Narratives 427
XI The Alienation of Power 430
XII The Worker as Political Actor 432
XIII Capitalism and the Political Shaping of the Working Class 435
XIV Capital: Contradiction and Crisis 436
XV Inheriting the Power-System of Capital 438
XVI The Status of Politics 439
XVII The Question of Dictatorship 440
XVIII The Paris Commune 445
XIX Anticipating the End of Politics 448
XX Defending a Post-politics 450
XXI Underestimating the Capitalist 452

Chapter Thirteen: Nietzsche: Pretotalitarian, Postmodern 454
I From Economy to Culture 454
II "Some are born posthumously" 456
III The New Nietzsche 457
IV Totalitarianism as a Form 458
V Nietzsche: A Political Theorist? 460
VI The Theorist as Immoralist 462
VII The Politics of Critical Totalitarianism 464
VIII The Extraordinary versus the Normal 467
IX The Totalitarian Dynamic 468
X The Extermination of Decadence 471
XI Cultural Wars 472
XII The Crisis of Nihilism 474
XIII The Aesthete and the Herd 475
XIV The Politics of Culture 477
XV A New Elite 479
XVI The Theorist of Anti-theory 481
XVII Rediscovering Myth 484
XVIII The Making of the Herd 485
XIX Myth and Theory 486
XX Looking for a New Dionysius 489
XXI Nietzsche as Political Analyst 490
XXII The Will-to-Power in the Twentieth Century 492

Chapter Fourteen: Liberalism and the Politics of Rationalism 495
I Popper, Dewey, and Rawls: Playing Out Liberalism 495
II The Closed Society 496
III The Open Society 500
IV Hints of an Emerging Ambiguity 502
V Dewey: The Philosopher as Political Theorist 503
VI Bacon Redivivus 504
VII Educating for Power 506
VIII Democracy's Means: Education 507
IX Democracy and Economy 508
X The Contest over Science 510
XI The Idea of a Public 511
XII Great Society and Great Community 513
XIII The Scientific Community as Model Democracy 514
XIV The Fading Aura of Science 518
XV Totalitarianism and Technology 519
XVI Totalitarianism and the Reaction against Democracy 520
XVII Democratic Revival? 522

Chapter Fifteen: Liberal Justice and Political Democracy 524
I Liberalism on the Defensive 524
II Freedom and Equality: Liberal Dilemma 525
III John Rawls and the Revival of Political Philosophy 529
IV Economy and Political Economy 530
V Justice and Inequality 531
VI The "Original Position" and the Tradition of Contract Theory 536
VII Liberalism and Its Political 538
VIII Rawls's Genealogy of Liberalism 540
IX The Reasonableness of Liberalism 542
X The Threat of Comprehensive Doctrines 545
XI Liberal Political Culture 547
XII Liberalism and Governance 551
XIII Neo-liberalism in the Cold War 551

Chapter Sixteen: Power and Forms 557
I Old and New Political Forms 557
II Superpower and Terror 559
III Modern and Postmodern Power 562
IV Political Economy: The New Public Philosophy 563
V Collapsed Communism and Uncollapsed Capitalism 565
VI Political Economy and Postmodernism 566
VII The Political and Its Absent Carrier 567
VIII The Demythologizing of Science 568
IX Rational Political Science 570
X Political Science and the Political Establishment 574
XI The Odyssey of the State: From Welfare to Superpower 575
XII Faltering Vision 578
XIII Towards Totality 579

Chapter Seventeen: Postmodern Democracy: Virtual or Fugitive? 581
I Postmodern Culture and Postmodern Power 581
II Nietzschean Pessimism Transformed 582
III The Self as Microcosm 584
IV Centrifugals and Centripetals 585
V Centripetal Power 587
VI The Political Evolution of the Corporation 587
VII Empire and the Imperial Citizen 590
VIII Superpower and Inverted Totalitarianism 594
IX The Limits of Superpower? 594
X A Land of Political Opportunity 595
XI Capital and Democracy 596
XII Democracy at Bay 598
XIII Postrepresentative Politics 599
XIV Fugitive Democracy 601

Notes 607
Index 741

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File created: 4/21/2017

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