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Open Access (free)
Rodney Barker

Conclusion Masks and faces: what you see is what you get Shakespeare's King Lear appears to complain that the artefacts with which people clothe, house, and surround themselves conceal their true nature: ‘robes and furred gowns hide all’. 1 But the public performance is at least as real as any private one. It is conducted in relation to other people, and is the one which affects them and with which they have to deal. It is not secret selves, but active, overt, social selves that constitute the human environment. When Lear tore off his clothes he was not

in Cultivating political and public identity
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Universalism and the Jewish question
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

fundamental questions it asks are about the nature of the harm Jews supposedly inflict on humanity, the reasons why the Jews are so harmful, and what is to be done to remedy this harm. The ‘answers’ it finds to these ‘questions’ are diverse within a certain semiotic unity. Among the harms Jews have been supposed to inflict are economic harms like usury and financial manipulation; political harms like betrayal and conspiracy; social harms like

in Antisemitism and the left
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

would have to demonstrate commitment to the general cause of humanity and they could do so only by abolishing Judaism. As Bauer put it: ‘As long as he is a Jew, the restricted nature that makes him a Jew will inevitably gain the ascendancy over the human nature which should join him as a man to other men’. 14 Bauer may be read as radicalising the restrictions on Jewish emancipation imposed by the Jewish question. In Marx's first essay ‘On the

in Antisemitism and the left
Jeremy C.A. Smith

that civilisations continue to interact with a global plane to produce variation in world capitalism. Marx is a starting point. He had little to say about civilisation as such. Yet his deliberation on the imaginary of capitalism is suggestive of related problematics. Before exploring these problematics, Marx’s main conception of civilisation as expanding and conquering capitalist modernity must be summarised, as it is the main thrust of his political economy. Capitalism, in this view, adds to the store of humanity’s productive capacities while subsuming nature and

in Debating civilisations
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Uses and critiques of ‘civilisation’
Jeremy C.A. Smith

3 1 Civilisations debated: uses and critiques of ‘civilisation’ It is unfeasible for human beings to dwell like animals in solitude and it is a corollary of their nature to at all times seek collectivity in dwelling and abode. Philosophers enthused by this sociality, have defined this circumstance by asserting ‘humans are naturally predisposed to sociality’, and in their terminology, civilisation (Madaniyyah) consists in the sociality of mankind [sic] on the realm of earth. (Ibn Khaldun, cited in Sentürk and Nizamuddin, 2009: 67) Let us bear in mind that our

in Debating civilisations
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Seas, oceans and civilisations
Jeremy C.A. Smith

flow of tides (Murphy, 2001). Places where nature and construction contrast –​and also conjoin along fluid boundaries –​are ecologies that nurture a marine imagination. Ports help imagine a habitus of flows: A further part of this pleasure is due to the artifice of port life that is built on the back and forth motion of the waters’ edge. At the point of seaborne arrival and departure, nature and artifice blend into a seamless whole. The solidity of the wharf and the fluidity of the channel meet in suspended equilibrium. The pylon of the wharf, upon which the sea

in Debating civilisations
Open Access (free)
Rodney Barker

write only by setting boundaries to what is described. A major concern of those who have written about identity has been its ethical dimension. What are the implications for the conduct of public life of an understanding of the nature of human identity and human agency? I have not dealt with these questions not because they are not important, but because I have attempted something different and more limited, though some ethical preferences will unavoidably, and not necessarily damagingly, be associated with explanatory or descriptive assumptions or arguments. Nor have

in Cultivating political and public identity
Open Access (free)
Rodney Barker

claim that ‘What you eat is who you are.’ But what you say you want to eat is also part of who you are. The ‘realist’ distinction between expressed and revealed preferences is not realist enough. Everything that is done is real, and contributes to identity. Just as human nature is everything that humans do, so human identity is composed of all the actions, cultivations, and creations which humans undertake. The apparent contrast between what people say and what they do, between verbal action and all other kinds of action, can be replaced by a

in Cultivating political and public identity
Open Access (free)
Association and distinction in politics and religion
Rodney Barker

successfully or more imaginatively than others. But they will do so more intensively, and in doing so they tell stories about their magnificence, the nature of their authority, their difference from ordinary people, their knowledge and understanding, and their power. As religious leaders claim or assume privileged access to transcendent truths, political leaders will both appeal to and rise above those whom they lead by claiming knowledge of what the followers would themselves know or seek if they were fully informed or properly rational. All government and political

in Cultivating political and public identity
Jeremy C.A. Smith

and mundane orientations crystallised. Put simply, the first signs of philosophical reflection on the nature of the cosmos, matter and materiality and being, and social, economic and political life emerged across 30 30 Debating civilisations Eurasian societies during this time. In different Axial civilisations, cultural ontologies crystallised with new kinds of reflexivity. There was greater scope in these new social orders for interpretation and questioning about the terms of human conduct and the norms of social life. Doctrines and ideologies were consolidated

in Debating civilisations