America the Virtuous: The Crisis of Democracy and the Quest for Empire

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Transaction Publishers, 31.12.2011 - 234 Seiten
Urged on by a powerful ideological and political movement, George W. Bush committed the United States to a quest for empire. American values and principles were universal, he asserted, and should guide the transformation of the world. Claes Ryn sees this drive for virtuous empire as the triumph of forces that in the last several decades acquired decisive influence in both the American parties, the foreign policy establishment, and the media. Public intellectuals like William Bennett, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Michael Novak, Richard Perle, and Norman Podhoretz argued that the United States was an exceptional nation and should bring "democracy," "freedom," and "capitalism" to countries not yet enjoying them. Ryn finds the ideology of American empire strongly reminiscent of the French Jacobinism of the eighteenth century. He describes the drive for armed world hegemony as part of a larger ideological whole that both expresses and aggravates a crisis of democracy and, more generally, of American and Western civilization. America the Virtuous sees the new Jacobinism as symptomatic of America shedding an older sense of the need for restraints on power. Checks provided by the US Constitution have been greatly weakened with the erosion of traditional moral and other culture.

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Nutzerbericht  - chrishoebeke - LibraryThing

An exceptionally fine explication of America's current predicament in world affairs. The author takes great pains to define current political and cultural terms, distinguishing their traditional ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

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Inhalt

Prologue
1
The Crisis of Western Civilization andthe Rise of Jacobinism
15
The New Jacobinism
25
Creative Traditionalism or Radicalism?
43
Democracy
49
Contrasting Forms of Morality and Society
55
Aristocratic and AntiAristocraticDemocracy
59
The Father of Democratism
71
Democracy in Peril
97
The New Jacobins and American Democracy
111
Democracy for the World
123
Jacobin Capitalism
145
Equality
155
A Center that Cannot Hold
165
Responsible Nationhood
177
Needed
189

Love of Ones Own and Love of the Common
77
Moral Universality
83
Pluralistic Political Morality
89
Index
213
Urheberrecht

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Über den Autor (2011)

Claes G. Ryn is professor of politics at the Catholic University of America where he was chairman of his department. He has taught also at the University of Virginia and Georgetown University. He is chairman of the National Humanities Institute and editor of the journal Humanitas. In 2000 he gave the Distinguished Foreign Scholar Lectures at Beijing University His many books include A Common Human Ground, Will, Imagination, and Reason (2nd., exp. ed. published by Transaction), and Democracy and the Ethical Life.

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