The Politics of Virtue
Many people have helped us with this book. Our greatest thanks go to Dr Armand Clesse, Director of the Luxembourg Institute for European and International Studies, who convened a conference on an early draft of the manuscript in Luxembourg on 17 and 18 October 2014. With extraordinary verve and his inimitable sense of humour, he chaired the discussion that brought together some fine minds, among...
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The Politics of Virtue
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The Politics of Virtue
The last century in Western politics can be read in terms of the ever-increasing triumph of liberalism. After the First World War, the 1920s inaugurated the elite influence of an avant-garde that for both good and ill eventually spread its libertarian revolt to mass culture, thereby often debasing its bohemian critical edge during the 1950s to 1960s. Amid economic stagnation and a...
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The sway of both social and economic liberalism is today being qualified by the intrusion of political polarities that do not readily fit into a left–right spectrum.~The logic of left versus right is, after all, little more than the inheritance of the French...
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The Politics of Virtue
Clearly, the global economic crisis since 2008 does not foreshadow the end of capitalism. However, it both reminds us of something well known and reveals something new. It reminds us that capitalism is subject to a peculiar sort of periodic downturn: an alternating deficiency of profit or of demand. Episodic...
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~Before detailing the character of a ‘civil economy’, we will briefly consider the three main economic options that are usually entertained today as resolutions to the current crisis of capitalism: (a) a broadly Keynesian ‘embedded liberalism’, (b) repristinated neo-liberalism and (c) the ‘social market’ based...
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Western democracy has in the past faced periodic crises characterised by a collapse of public trust in politicians, a lack of popular participation and a deep scepticism about whether the democratic system can cope with pressing problems or serve the long-term interests of a country as a whole. But today’s crisis is qualitatively different insofar as it concerns a doubt as to whether we...
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We have seen that, in order to meet the metacrisis of liberal democracy, Western politics needs to return to certain older themes of its constitutionalist legacy, but for radical and not reactionary reasons.
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Liberalism became fully normative only in the second half of the twentieth century when it finally achieved a hegemonic domination of mass culture. Prior to the 1950s, essentially pre-capitalist norms were still to the fore in cultural life, but...
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Liberal education, as we saw in the previous chapter, characteristically oscillates between esoteric concerns that bear no relation to politics on the one hand, and a form of utility maximisation that hands bio-political control over society to the forces of the market-state on the other. It is, therefore, a formation that ends up being profoundly de-humanising because it does not integrate the...
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We live in more than troubling times. Barely twenty-five years ago, the triumph of capitalism betokened for some the convergence towards Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government, while others predicted a clash of civilisations pitting the West versus the rest. In reality, neither scenario has come to pass. Instead, we are witnessing a sustained attack on civilisation...
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We live also in more than peculiar times. The emerging neo-medieval shape of international affairs objectively favours a greater European role in global leadership, however remote a prospect that may currently seem. Yet for the present, the foreign policy of the European Union, of its key member-states Germany, France and the United Kingdom, as well as of greater Europe (adding...
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~In this book we have argued that liberalism is the dominant modern ideology but it now faces a metacrisis, which tends to the undoing of the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions on which it rests but which it distorts and hollows out. Characteristic of this metacrisis is an exacerbation of the arbitrary and tautologous implications of...
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~abortion and euthanasia, 274–75
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~~John Milbank is Research Professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics at the University of Nottingham and Director of the Centre of Theology and Philosophy. He previously taught at the universities of Lancaster, Cambridge and Virginia. He is the author of many books, including...
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The Future Perfect series stands at the intersection of critical historiography, philosophy, political science, heterodox economic theory, and environmental thought, as well as utopian and cultural studies. It encourages an interdisciplinary reassessment of the idea of futurity that not only holds a promising interpretative potential but may also serve as an effective tool for practical...
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