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eBook Politics and Passion: Toward a More Egalitarian Liberalism epub

by Michael Walzer

eBook Politics and Passion: Toward a More Egalitarian Liberalism epub
  • ISBN: 0300115369
  • Author: Michael Walzer
  • Genre: Social Sciences
  • Subcategory: Politics & Government
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (June 7, 2006)
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • ePUB size: 1121 kb
  • FB2 size 1908 kb
  • Formats lrf lit lrf rtf


Walzer begins Politics and Passion with an observation what is empirically evident in all our lives but needs to be reiterated again . Liberalism is, argues Walzer, a philosophy that does - in a fashion - aim to transcend group life.

Walzer begins Politics and Passion with an observation what is empirically evident in all our lives but needs to be reiterated again and again in political philosophy; namely, that we all have pluriform identities. Where Walzer differs from others such as Amartya Sen who have dissented from the tendency towards monocultural identities is his summary of how the plurality of affiliations are often involuntary in nature, the clearest example being that which we involuntarily receive from our parents and guardians in our early youth.

Politics and Passion book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Politics and Passion: Toward a More Egalitarian Liberalism as Want to Read: Want to Read saving. Start by marking Politics and Passion: Toward a More Egalitarian Liberalism as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Distinguished political philosopher Michael Walzer offers a provocative reappraisal of the core tenets of liberalism. elegant and probing critique of contemporary liberal thought.

But Michael Walzer is a shrewd political theorist, and his book is better than its subtitle.

POLITICS AND PASSION: TOWARD A MORE EGALITARIAN LIBERALISM Michael Walzer Yale University Press, 2004, xiv + 184 pgs. Then I first saw Politics and Passion, I was inclined to toss it aside. Just what we need," I sneered: "a more egalitarian liberalism. By "liberalism," the author emphatically does not mean classical liberalism. But Michael Walzer is a shrewd political theorist, and his book is better than its subtitle. He addresses a vital problem; unfortunately, his commitments to egalitarianism and democracy prevent him.

Book Description: Liberalism is egalitarian in principle, but why doesn't it do more to promote equality in practice? In this book, the distinguished political philosopher Michael Walzer offers a critique of liberal theory and demonstrates that crucial realities have been submerged i. .

Book Description: Liberalism is egalitarian in principle, but why doesn't it do more to promote equality in practice? In this book, the distinguished political philosopher Michael Walzer offers a critique of liberal theory and demonstrates that crucial realities have been submerged in the evolution of contemporary liberal thought. In the standard versions of liberal theory, autonomous individuals deliberate about what ought to be done-but in the real world, citizens also organize, mobilize, bargain, and lobby. The real world is more contentious than deliberative.

Politics and Passion: Toward a More Egalitarian Liberalism. Yale University Press, 2005. 208. Unquick Fix: The Peace Process Begins.

New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004. With characteristic elegance, clarity, and nuance, Michael Walzer here refines and extends the thesis he first ventured 15 years ago that the fragmentary effects of liberalism require periodic communitarian correction. Nearly all of the chapters are revised from previous articles or book chapters composed in the years intervening, and so their relation is more thematic than structural. But their collective force is considerable. Export citation Request permission.

In this book, political philosopher Michael Walzer offers a critique of liberal theory and demonstrates that crucial realities have been submerged . Download book Politics and passion : toward a more egalitarian liberalism, Michael Walzer.

In this book, political philosopher Michael Walzer offers a critique of liberal theory and demonstrates that crucial realities have been submerged in the evolution of contemporary liberal thought. Rubrics: Liberalism Equality. by Stephen A. Bourque. 00 Author: Bourque, Stephen A. (Stephen Alan), 1950- Publication & Distribution: Washington, . of the Army Download book Politics and passion : toward a more egalitarian liberalism, Michael Walzer.

In "Politics and Passion," Walzer cogently defends the central principles of political liberalism while simultaneously subjecting them to the scrutiny of the communitarian critique. Walzer's use of concrete examples to explain his approach to navigating conflicting values in a pluralist democracy is easily the book's greatest strength. The primary weakness is the work's lack of originality and scholastic rigor. While it was a pleasant read, a serious student of political theory will find nothing here that wasn't already easily inferrable from Rawls or even simple.

Politics and Passion: Toward a More Egalitarian Liberalism Stay informed. Politics and Passion: Toward a More Egalitarian Liberalism. Walzer is most persuasive in arguing that liberalism's focus on deliberative democracy misses the deeper social forces that ultimately determine the character-and justness-of the polity. But the political passion that he thinks is necessary to confront hierarchy and inequality can also put at risk the interest-based compromises on which modern democracy rests.

Distinguished political philosopher Michael Walzer offers a provocative reappraisal of the core tenets of liberalism. Ranging over contested issues including multiculturalism, pluralism, difference, civil society, and racial and gender justice, he suggest ways in which liberal theory might be revised to make it more hospitable to the claims of equality."[An] elegant and probing critique of contemporary liberal thought."―G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs"With his usual originality, clarity, depth, and intelligent judgments, Michael Walzer offers a perspective on political life that reveals serious inadequacies in standard liberal views and points to directions of change."―Robert Dahl, Sterling Professor Emeritus, Yale University
Comments: (4)
Olma
It's not that I disagree with Walzer's ideas in "Politics and Passion," it's that I find them unexceptionable to a rather boring degree. Even the title essay lacks the fire that I look for in a political essay. Unless the reader wishes to be a Michael Walzer "completist," to read every word he writes, I would suggest purchasing an earlier collection called "Arguing About War." Walzer at his best is possibly our most humane political thinker, and an essay such as "Can There Be a Decent Left" would be required reading in my utopia. I eagerly await his next book and hope it avoids the blandness of this one.
Arashilkis
I want to second the review of this book by "Freeborn John" (9/20/2011) which lays forth clearly and succinctly the focus of Walzer's book and its starting point with the idea of our "pluriform identities" that result from what Walzer calls our involuntary associations -- the groups we are born into before we can choose and which might, at any time and in any society, be a relatively disadvantaged group. The business of politics as Walzer sees it here is to negotiate something closer to parity with the advantaged groups, some of which might be involuntary too (like an aristocracy, for example) but others of which might be voluntary ( e. g. a trade union, a chamber of commerce). Politics, then, isn't just a matter of "me" -- the individual, relatively rational agent -- seeking to maximize my "happiness"; rather, it has to do with the way that public policies impact the interactions of groups so that the powerful are limited in their ability to organize everything for their own interests only. Framing the issue at the degree of abstraction that I have here makes it easy to forget that, down in the weeds where it matters, things can be quite difficult to resolve -- matters of race, ethnicity, gender, poverty, ideological commitment, multiculturalism, etc. inevitably surface, and what we call justice or fairness -- which is what freedom makes meaningful -- requires hard and careful thinking and delicate social interaction.

Walzer's chapters in this book seem to have been originally published as individual essays. He has done some re-writing, and he has written "connective tissue" to give his ordering of the essays the feel of a consecutive argument, and by and large, I think he has done so quite successfully. Where there is a "break" in the consecutiveness might be at the point where he turns to consider "passion" in politics, and one could argue that Walzer could do more to tie that discussion to his earlier discussion of identities. However, what he has to say about passion seems sensible -- he is arguing against a rationalist, communitarian notion of a society in which all conflict can be resolved by reasonable conversation and compromises. He quite rightly sees that there are at least two problems with this: one is that, where issues of serious injustice are concerned, compromise is inappropriate and undesirable. His other point is the more telling one -- it is not only undesirable to seek to banish passion from politics: it is impossible, and it is really foolish even to try. He isn't blind to the dangers in a polity that passion can cause, but to seek the ideal of a passion-free politics is a fool's errand.
Goll
Walzer begins Politics and Passion with an observation what is empirically evident in all our lives but needs to be reiterated again and again in political philosophy; namely, that we all have pluriform identities. Where Walzer differs from others such as Amartya Sen who have dissented from the tendency towards monocultural identities is his summary of how the plurality of affiliations are often involuntary in nature, the clearest example being that which we involuntarily receive from our parents and guardians in our early youth.

In the course of a discussion of international politics that aims to spread an emancipatory ideal (often coterminous with the spread of liberal democracy) Walzer makes the following comment: "a politics committed to transcending group life, breaking the categories of difference, is likely to be ineffective (there are many examples); and it is pretty sure to be nasty and repressive in its own way. Individuals with rights are also individuals with emotions: they have the affiliative passions that go with their practical attachments, and if we want to strengthen their hand, some of the help they need has to come via their own political associations (p. 138)."

Liberalism is, argues Walzer, a philosophy that does - in a fashion - aim to transcend group life. With the noble (in theory at least) goal of promoting a universal egalititarianism for all inhabitants qua citizens. Walzer is certainly not alone in noting that the problem is that a nation's citizenship (those who seek and are involved in the political process) and its inhabitants are not synonymous. And Liberalism, in acting as though this is not the case, does great damage to its own stated agenda of toleration and respect when it ignores this fact (notwithstanding the very real harm it can do those minorities who are inhabitants but not citizens of a nation). If one could condense Walzer's dissection of Liberalism's ailments it would be this: Liberalism is a vampiric entity that sucks all passion from the political process leaving nothing but an empty shell of a person.

To expand his point Walzer draws attention to the sociologist Lewis Coser's study of Greedy Institutions; that is, groups and organisations that demand everything of their members. Within this category of the greedy institution are many groups disfranchised groups (sometimes by intent of others, sometimes by their own passivity) - a prime example of the latter being many Amish.

It is here that Walzer differs from the Liberal strategy of asserting individual autonomy at all costs. If the aim of liberalism is to promote egalitarianism then such an approach is heavy-handed and, more importantly from its own perspective, it is counter-productive. We all know the response of a cornered animal when it is threatened, it lashes out. Similarly, a group under constant critique is more likely to close ranks, withdraw, and have its own bonds of solidarity strengthened (incidentally, this is precisely the response Rowan Williams is warning against in his infamous tentative suggestion that Sharia law enter as a subservient and voluntary reconcilatory avenue in family law disputes between Muslims).

However, in recognising the hard case of bringing often involuntary members of these greedy institutions into the autonomy granted to those of more avowedly plural identities Walzer is not suggesting an ideological free for all (as some unwise Governmental critics of Williams's speech read him as saying) ; it remains the case that Liberalism will always have recourse to coercion, particularly in the case of the greedy institution as Walzer himself hesitantly admits: "Coercion itself cannot be avoided; civic education does have to be legally mandated and compulsory. And since it challenges the totalizing claims of the religious or ethnic community, it is sure to encounter opposition. Its aim is to allow or encourage the community's children, as many of them as possible, to accept another identity, that is, to think of themselves as responsible and respected participants in democratic decision-making. Citizens of the state can honestly say that they want these children to add citizenship to their existing religious or ethnic self-understanding, not replace the latter with the former (p. 60)."

However, as Walzer continues in the passage there is a replacement here: a monocultural traditionalism is replaced by one that incorporates a fuller spectrum of contemporary human existence. The question can legitimately be asked as to whether this necessarily coercive pluralisation of identities betrays the ideal of toleration which in the potted history of liberalism - replete with references to the Peace of Westphalia - is one of its cornerstones? Here is Walzer's response: " Maybe, but I am not advocating the total replacement of traditional ways. I don't want to insist that members of the parochial or tribal group be taught to draw up their own life plans without copying from their parents. I mean to be more tolerant than contemporary activist versions of liberalism would allow - without, however, endorsing the illiberal way of life of greedy communities (p. 60-61)."

By and large Walzer succeeds in this aim and in the process has produced a compelling analysis not only of the dead-end that is the usual liberal policy of excluding passion from the political terrain but also the delicate and imprecise balancing act that the inclusion of passions creates, particularly as it relates to minorities.

Walzer does present a interesting, succinct and well written primer into the practice of Liberalism but, having read much of his other work I do tend to agree with other reviewers that this is not his best work. Nontheless, recommended.
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