Cours familier de philosophie politique
Comment nous orienter dans le monde? C'est la philosophie politique qui peut le mieux nous y aider, répond Pierre Marient. Son livre propose un tableau raisonné du monde actuel. Il est, par là même, nécessairement aussi une réflexion sur le siècle écoulé, sur les guerres et les totalitarismes qui en ont occupé une si grande part. L'auteur s'efforce de saisir les articulations selon lesquelles notre monde s'ordonne et se meut. Il considère d'abord notre régime - la démocratie; puis notre forme politique - la nation. Il réfléchit sur les rapports que l'une entretient avec l'autre et sur la crise qui les menace : au seuil du nouveau siècle, la démocratie tend à se détacher non seulement du cadre politique national accoutumé, mais même de toute forme politique reconnaissable. Les cœurs sont émus et les esprits obnubilés par la perspective prochaine d'une démocratie pure, délivrée de la vieille politique, et qui régnerait sans partage selon les règles du droit et les maximes de la morale. Telle est la " grande illusion " de notre temps. Cette " grande illusion ", selon Pierre Marient, est de voir dans la politique l'obstacle qui nous empêche d'accéder à la vraie vie. C'est au contraire l'ordre politique qui est le véritable ordre humain.
A World Beyond Politics
We live in the grip of a great illusion about politics, Pierre Manent argues in A World beyond Politics? It's the illusion that we would be better off without politics--at least national politics, and perhaps all politics. It is a fantasy that if democratic values could somehow detach themselves from their traditional national context, we could enter a world of pure democracy, where human society would be ruled solely according to law and morality. Borders would dissolve in unconditional internationalism and nations would collapse into supranational organizations such as the European Union. Free of the limits and sins of politics, we could finally attain the true life. In contrast to these beliefs, which are especially widespread in Europe, Manent reasons that the political order is the key to the human order. Human life, in order to have force and meaning, must be concentrated in a particular political community, in which decisions are made through collective, creative debate. The best such community for democratic life, he argues, is still the nation-state. Following the example of nineteenth-century political philosophers such as Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill, Manent first describes a few essential features of democracy and the nation-state, and then shows how these characteristics illuminate many aspects of our present political circumstances. He ends by arguing that both democracy and the nation-state are under threat--from apolitical tendencies such as the cult of international commerce and attempts to replace democratic decisions with judicial procedures.
The City of Man
The "City of God" or the "City of Man"? This is the choice St. Augustine offered 1500 years ago--and according to Pierre Manent the modern West has decisively and irreversibly chosen the latter. In this subtle and wide-ranging book on the Western intellectual and political condition, Manent argues that the West has rejected the laws of God and of nature in a quest for human autonomy. But in declaring ourselves free and autonomous, he contends, we have, paradoxically, lost a sense of what it means to be human. In the first part of the book, Manent explores the development of the social sciences since the seventeenth century, portraying their growth as a sign of increasing human "self-consciousness." But as social scientists have sought to free us from the intellectual confines of the ancient world, he writes, they have embraced modes of analysis--economic, sociological, and historical--that treat only narrow aspects of the human condition and portray individuals as helpless victims of impersonal forces. As a result, we have lost all sense of human agency and of the unified human subject at the center of intellectual study. Politics and culture have come to be seen as mere foam on the tides of historical and social necessity. In the second half of the book, titled "Self-Affirmation," Manent examines how the West, having discovered freedom, then discovered arbitrary will and its dangers. With no shared touchstones or conceptions of virtue, for example, we have found it increasingly hard to communicate with each other. This is a striking contrast to the past, he writes, when even traditions as different as the Classical and the Christian held many of these conceptions in common. The result of these discoveries, according to Manent, is the disturbing rootlessness that characterizes our time. By gaining autonomy from external authority, we have lost a sense of what we are. In "giving birth" to ourselves, we have abandoned that which alone can nurture and sustain us. With penetrating insight and remarkable erudition, Manent offers a profound analysis of the confusions and contradictions at the heart of the modern condition.
Democracy Without Nations
Can Europe survive after abandoning the national loyalties—and religious traditions—that provided meaning? And what will happen to the United States as it goes down a similar path? The eminent French political philosopher Pierre Manent addresses these questions in his brilliant meditation on Europe's experiment in maximizing individual and social rights. By seeking to escape from the “national form,” he shows, the European Union has weakened the very institutions that made possible liberty and self-government in the first place. Worse still, the “spiritual vacuity” that characterizes today's secular Europe—and, increasingly, the United States—is ultimately untenable.
Is There Still a West
"Scholarly essay collection that considers whether "the West" is still a major force in international affairs or whether we face a new world of competing states and shifting alliances. In proposing possible counterterrorism strategies to define a shared Western security policy, they offer an alternative to neoconservative and liberal viewpoints"--Provided by publisher.
This book gathers together French-language authors who in the last decade have played a part in the renewal of interest in the question of nationalism. This volume organized along thematic lines and with a genuine transversal approach, seeks to give audiences a glimpse of some of that research, whether related to theoretical, normative or analytical questions.
Lucid Mind Intrepid Spirit
This volume of essays explores the bases and significant aspects of the thought of the contemporary French philosopher, Chantal Delsol. It ranges from studies of her philosophical anthropology to her critique of international law, as well as on her thinking about the human person. An essay on the family enriches and illustrates the latter. A penetrating critic of contemporary European democracy and secular culture, she does so in order to reinvigorate both.
The Burden of Democracy
In The Burden of Democracy: The Claims of Cultures and Public Culture, Geneviève Souillac offers an original contribution to the debate on contemporary democratic ethics and vindicates the universal development of democracy. This book argues that a public culture articulated around the three principles of deliberative justice, history and encounter can deepen inclusion, mediation, and democratic pluralism under conditions of postmodernity.
Reconsidering Peace and Patriotism during the First World War
This volume provides a unique view of the movement for peace during the First World War, with contributors from across Europe and the United States providing a distinctive cultural analysis of peace movements during the Great War. As Europe began its descent into the madness that became the First World War, people in every nation worked to maintain peace. Once the armies began to march across borders, activists and politicians alike worked to bring an end to the hostilities. This collection explores what peace meant to the different people, societies, nationalities, and governments involved in the First World War. It offers a wide variety of observations, including Italian socialists and their fight for peace, women in Britain pushing for peace, and French soldiers refusing to fight in an effort to bring about peace.
The Democratic Spirit of Law
In this major new work, Dominique Schnapper continues her investigation into changes in contemporary democracy. Although she concentrates on the French example, The Democratic Spirit of Law concerns all democratic societies.Schnapper warns against the danger of corrupting the "principles," as defined by Montesquieu, on which democracy is based. If democracy becomes "extreme," all its founding principles risk being corrupted. Respect for institutions is necessary for freedom to be effective. Furthermore, if democrats cease to distinguish between facts and values, religion and politics, politics and the judiciary, knowledge and opinion, and knowledge and intuition, they will sink into absolute relativism or a nihilism that threatens the very values on which democratic society is based.By pointing out the danger of corruption inherent in the democratic promise of freedom, equality, and happiness, the author provides intellectual weapons not only to understand, but also to defend democracy, the only system in history, despite its limits and failures, that has humanely organized human societies. Democracy's future depends on citizens' preservation of the founding spirit of the democratic order: recognition of others, and free, reasonable, and controlled criticism of legitimate institutions.