4 Politicallife in an antisemitic world: Hannah Arendt's Jewish
All I wanted was to be a man among other men. I wanted to
come lithe and young into a world that was ours and to help to build it
together. (Franz Fanon, The Fact of Blackness ) 1
We can never become just Netherlanders, or just English
or representatives of any country for that matter. We will always remain
The politics of the soul:
the life and times of Jean-Jacques Rousseau1
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his
own soul? (St Matthew, 16.26)
Did Ludwig Wittgenstein write the most successful love story of his century? Did Thomas Hobbes compose an opera – and did it inspire the
work of Mozart? Did Byron write poems about Hume or Leibniz? Did
Schiller compose sonnets about Descartes and Locke? These questions
seem too ridiculous to warrant an answer. Ask the same questions about
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78) and the opposite
-first-century social and economic conditions. Turning to the
wide-ranging form of political thought known as anarchism, we discuss
anarchist views of human nature, the state, liberty and equality, and
economic life. The chapter ends with a critique of anarchism and some
thoughts as to its relevance to modern politics.
POINTS TO CONSIDER
Is Marxism correct in identifying class as the most important form of
the democracies had acquired legal and political equality.
The results, however, were not
entirely satisfactory. The extension of the franchise did not dramatically
increase female participation in politicallife. Women also remained worse
off than men, especially in wages and job opportunities.
Suffrage alone clearly was, and is, not enough
to transform the position of women. Feminists of the ‘second
This book presents an overview of Jean–Jacques Rousseau's work from a political science perspective. Was Rousseau — the great theorist of the French Revolution—really a conservative? The text argues that the author of ‘The Social Contract’ was a constitutionalist much closer to Madison, Montesquieu, and Locke than to revolutionaries. Outlining his profound opposition to Godless materialism and revolutionary change, this book finds parallels between Rousseau and Burke, as well as showing that Rousseau developed the first modern theory of nationalism. It presents an integrated political analysis of Rousseau's educational, ethical, religious and political writings.
Macpherson, C. B. The Life and Times of Liberal
Democracy (Oxford University Press, 1977).
Renwick, A. and Swinburn, I. ‘Democracy’,
in A. Renwick and I. Swinburn, Basic Political Concepts (Stanley
Thornes, 1990), pp. 124–49.
Watts, Duncan ‘The Growing Attractions of Direct
Democracy’, Talking Politics , 10:1 (1997), pp. 44–9.
We now explore the term ‘equality’, defined in two ways:
first, that which concerns equality as a starting point to life; second,
equality as an outcome. We also consider equality before the law, equal
political rights and equal social rights. After that we examine
individual and group equality, and equality in terms of the class
structure and international relations. Finally
Universalism has acted as a stimulus for Jewish emancipation, that is, for civil, political and social inclusion. It has also been a source of anti-Jewish prejudice up to and beyond the classic antisemitism of the modern period. While the experience of Jews is by no means unique in this respect, one of the peculiarities of the 'anti-Judaic' tradition has been to represent Jews in some important regard as the 'other' of the universal: as the personification either of a particularism opposed to the universal, or of a false universalism concealing Jewish self-interest. The former contrasts the particularism of the Jews to the universality of bourgeois civil society. The latter contrasts the bad universalism of the 'rootless cosmopolitan Jew' to the good universalism of whatever universal is advanced: nation, race or class. This book explores debates over Jewish emancipation within the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, contrasting the work of two leading protagonists of Jewish emancipation: Christian von Dohm and Moses Mendelssohn. It discusses the emancipatory power of Karl Marx's critique of Bruno Bauer's opposition to Jewish emancipation and endorsement of The Jewish Question. Marxist debates over the growth of anti-Semitism; Hannah Arendt's critique of three types of Jewish responsiveness--assimilationism, Zionism and cosmopolitanism-- to anti-Semitism; and the endeavours of a leading postwar critical theorist, Jurgen Habermas are also discussed. Finally, the book focuses its critique on left antizionists who threaten to reinstate the Jewish question when they identify Israel and Zionism as the enemies of universalism.
This book presents the rich fabric of language, clothing, food, and architecture which forms the diverse religious, political, cultural and ethnic identities of humanity. The colour of a scarf, the accent of a conversation, can unite people or divide them, and the smallest detail can play its part in signalling who are allies and who are enemies, as much for elites as for citizens in a democracy. Human identity is neither rigidly determined nor unpredictable and spontaneous, but between those two extremes is the forum on which the public life of humanity is generated. After a century in which an assumption was held across the ideological spectrum from left to right and from Marxists to economic individualists that the rational pursuit of material gain underlay social and political activity, the fundamental importance of the cultivation and preservation of identity is re-emerging across the whole spectrum of politics in which Britain is one example only. Yet while identity is the dimension in which public life is conducted, it is inherently paradoxical: on the one hand people cultivate their identity by association with a group, or religion, or nation, whilst on the other hand they distinguish themselves from their associates within those groups by presenting an intensified or purer form of the qualities which otherwise unite them. So identity simultaneously generates equality and inequality, between identification by association, and identity by exclusion and differentiation; it is both the engine of public life, and the cause of its confusion and conflict. This Open Access edition was funded by London School of Economics and Political Science.
political questions, which is present in many areas of actual human life. In
section 1 I discuss the general idea of community, then offer and explore a
specific conception of community as collective agency. In section 2 I
suggest that membership of a collective agency raises, but does not of
itself settle, important questions about loyalty, allegiance and
dissociation. In section 3 I suggest that the existence of