New PDF release: Against the Masses: Varieties of Anti-Democratic Thought

By Joseph V. Femia

ISBN-10: 0198280637

ISBN-13: 9780198280637

Given the idea that democracy is a "good thing," the aim of humankind, you possibly can omit that "rule by way of the people" has been vehemently hostile via one of the most extraordinary thinkers within the Western culture. This publication makes an attempt to strive against collective amnesia by means of systematically exploring and comparing anti-democratic suggestion because the French Revolution.

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Additional info for Against the Masses: Varieties of Anti-Democratic Thought since the French Revolution

Example text

Where such reconciliation is impossible, human action cannot be truly free. For Hegel, then, freedom requires settled constraints on the will— be it the individual will or the collective will (Philosophy of Right, para. 7, pp. 23–4, and para. 15, pp. 27–8). 85 The Perversity Thesis 45 reduced to its ultimate constituents. For the natural imperative of democracy, in Hegel’s view, is to abolish ‘difference’, to destroy all partial communities or associations that stand between the individual and the wishes of the majority.

Ibid. 194. 24 21 Ibid. 124. Ibid. 138. 25 22 Ibid. 151. Ibid. 248–9. The Perversity Thesis 25 tic revolution was already assuming the characteristics of dictatorship, and that things were bound to get worse. As might be expected, he builds his case upon an analogy with nature. Equality is unnatural, a ‘monstrous fiction’,26 and any attempt to implement it will be about as productive (and disgusting) as attempts to cross-breed men and sheep. 27 Within a democratic framework, the social composition of the elite would be urban and bourgeois.

All ‘the decent drapery of life’ would be rudely torn away. 21 In sum, the democratic mentality is just not conducive to sociability. If we erode the customary loyalties and attachments of people, by encouraging them to think and judge in terms of their individual interests, which continually dispose them to adopt a critical, rather than an indulgent, habit of mind towards our institutions, then the common texture of meaning on which a society depends will gradually disappear. The functional/utilitarian approach can produce only one result: a Hobbesian abyss of unbearable discord and chronic instability.

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Against the Masses: Varieties of Anti-Democratic Thought since the French Revolution by Joseph V. Femia

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