Requiem For Modern Politics: The Tragedy Of The Enlightenment And The Challenge Of The New Millennium

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9780813335162: Requiem For Modern Politics: The Tragedy Of The Enlightenment And The Challenge Of The New Millennium
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This long-promised sequel to Ophuls’s influential and controversial classic Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity is an equally provocative critique of the liberal philosophy of government. Ophuls contends that the modern political paradigm―that is, the body of political concepts and beliefs bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment―is no longer intellectually tenable or practically viable. Our attempt to live individualistically, hedonistically, and rationally has failed utterly, causing a comprehensive crisis that is at once political, military, economic, ecological, ethical, psychological, and spiritual. Liberal politics has abandoned virtue, rejected community, and flouted nature, thereby becoming the author of its own demise. By exposing the intrinsically contradictory and self-destructive character of Hobbesian political systems, Ophuls subverts our conventional wisdom at every turn. Indeed, his impassioned text reads more like a Greek tragedy than a conventional political argument. He critiques feminism, multiculturalism, the welfare state, and a host of other “liberal” shibboleths―but Ophuls is not yet another neoconservative. The aim of his thesis is far more radical and progressive, offering a political vision that entirely transcends the categories of liberal thought. His is a Thoreauvian vision of a “politics of consciousness” rooted in ecology as the moral and intellectual basis for governance in the twenty-first century. Ophuls holds that a polity based on a renewed erotic connection with nature offers a genuine solution to this crisis of contemporary civilization and that only within such a polity will it be possible to fulfill the worthy liberal goal of individual self-development. Ophuls’s work will interest and challenge a wide spectrum of readers, though it will not necessarily be well liked or easily accepted. No one will put down this book with his or her settled convictions about American culture intact, nor will readers ever again take modern civilization and its survival for granted.

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From the Author:

The title says it all
Allen Jaisle’s review is one to delight any author’s heart: he not only likes the book, he really gets it. Unfortunately, he seems to be in a minority. The book received virtually no reviews in mainstream publications. And so far most academics and intellectuals have reacted with incomprehension or worse. This is perhaps not surprising, because the argument does not fit within the left-right dichotomy that has dominated political discourse and analysis for the past two centuries. What is worse, it dares to attack the Church of Reason (whose locus is academe) by declaring the failure of the Enlightenment project. Moreover, in an age of specialization, in which every one knows more and more about less and less, my audacity in attempting to confront the whole of the modern problematique, much less to trace its roots back to the end of the Stone Age, seems mistaken, to say the least. But I stand by my work: if you want to understand what is happening at the end of the twentieth century, then my book is for you. It’s not that I have all the answers -- far from it -- but I do believe that you will find it educational in the best sense of that much misused word.

Synopsis:

Ophuls examines the contradictory and self-destructive character of political systems founded on Hobbesian (or liberal) premises, concluding that we must now invent a new form of politics, if not a new mode of civilizationone rooted in a fresh conception of natural law that espouses a political paradigm more appropriate to the dawning age of ecology. }This long-promised sequel to Ophuls influential and controversial classic Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity is an equally provocative critique of the liberal philosophy of government. Ophuls contends that the modern political paradigmthat is, the body of political concepts and beliefs bequeathed to us by the Enlightenmentis no longer intellectually tenable or practically viable. Our attempt to live individualistically, hedonistically, and rationally has failed utterly, causing a comprehensive crisis that is at once political, military, economic, ecological, ethical, psychological, and spiritual. Liberal politics has abandoned virtue, rejected community, and flouted nature, thereby becoming the author of its own demise.By exposing the intrinsically contradictory and self-destructive character of Hobbesian political systems, Ophuls s

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9780813331423: Requiem For Modern Politics: The Tragedy Of The Enlightenment And The Challenge Of The New Millennium

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ISBN 10:  0813331420 ISBN 13:  9780813331423
Publisher: Routledge, 1997
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9780813331430: Requiem for Modern Politics: The Tragedy of the Enlightenment and the Challenge of the New Millennium

Westvi..., 1998
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