Aristotle once said that humans are political by their nature. Certainly, political processes and institutions are central to human life. But are they everything? Is everything we do inherently political? And, more importantly, should everything we do be seen to be inherently political? Continue reading Review of Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics In Its Place
(This essay originally appeared at 3 Quarks Daily. Reprinted with permission.)
Although the word “democracy” is commonly used to denote all that is good in politics, democracy is a dubious proposal. It is the thesis that you may be required to live according to rules that you reject, simply because those rules are favored by others. Continue reading Review of Jason Brennan’s “Against Democracy”
© Darrell Arnold Ph.D.– (Reprinted with Permission)
If you are interested in knowing about assholes, [philosophy professor] Aaron James is your man. In the rather new and thin study of asshology, James has emerged as the leading voice. His Assholes: A Theory was a New York Times bestseller in 2012. Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump is his more recent sequel … Continue reading Review of Aaron James’ “Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump”
Freedom—as Hannah Arendt understands it—is only possible in a participatory political life. Such a form of life, which cultivates individuality and spontaneity, can be contrasted with totalitarianism, which ultimately aims at the total domination of the individual. Our responsibility is to ensure our own freedom—that is, to ensure collective, participatory forms of political life under which such freedom is possible. Continue reading Review of Richard J. Bernstein’s, Why Read Hannah Arendt Now
We all know of democratic institutions that have ended by revolution or coup. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two professors of government at Harvard University, highlight another way that they increasingly end — through a slow erosion of institutions by those who were democratically elected to oversee them.
In How Democracies Die the authors apply their knowledge of the collapse of democratic institutions from Europe and Latin America to analyze the erosion of democratic norms in the United States. Continue reading Review of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: “How Democracies Die”