Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (Video-2)

In this second in a series on Chantal Mouffe’s ideas in The Return of the Political, I discuss her use of Carl Schmitt’s critique of liberalism and relate her ideas to authors she draws from, such as Leo Strauss, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer and Hans Georg Gadamer. I try to get an initial handle on her preferred “agonistic pluralism” as an answer to the question–can we respect particular values and traditions enough to compete with them rather than seeking to destroy them? I relate her line of argument to my understanding of Carl Jung’s theory of political ideology as “ideological possession” — the projection of the shadow. … More Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (Video-2)

The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Audio)

Both classical conservative Edmund Burke and democratic socialist Eduard Bernstein were very skeptical about whether the “common man” of their time was up to the task of real political leadership. Even their reasons for being skeptical are similar. But, the differences are also stark, and they bring back the nature versus nurture debate. Bernstein thinks that the deficiencies of the working class that make them not yet ready for pure socialism have to do with their environment and they can be overcome. Burke is pretty sure that human nature expresses itself in a spectrum of ability and that some people will always be unfit to rule. … More The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Audio)

The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Video)

Both classical conservative Edmund Burke and democratic socialist Eduard Bernstein were very skeptical about whether the “common man” of their time was up to the task of real political leadership. Even their reasons for being skeptical are similar. But, the differences are also stark, and they bring back the nature versus nurture debate. Bernstein thinks that the deficiencies of the working class that make them not yet ready for pure socialism have to do with their environment and they can be overcome. Burke is pretty sure that human nature expresses itself in a spectrum of ability and that some people will always be unfit to rule. … More The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Video)

Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2–Audio)

I cover several points of agreement or near agreement between Edmund Burke (author of Reflections on the Revolution in France) and Eduard Bernstein (author of Evolutionary Socialism). Though a century apart and on supposedly opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, these two men thought in the same mode when it came to their dislike for revolution, sudden change, reform and the limitations of the masses. … More Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2–Audio)

Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2-Video)

I cover several points of agreement or near agreement between Edmund Burke (author of Reflections on the Revolution in France) and Eduard Bernstein (author of Evolutionary Socialism). Though a century apart and on supposedly opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, these two men thought in the same mode when it came to their dislike for revolution, sudden change, reform and the limitations of the masses. … More Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2-Video)

Alternative Conservatism: Michael Oakeshott’s Model

The term “conservatism” is so laden with unfortunate meaning and associations by now that it’s hard to explain to people what it meant before it was confused with liberalism. But it’s really important to do so, because unlike the revolutionary culture-, family- and community-busting market-prioritizing conservatism everyone knows about now, the older version has positive contributions to make in a time of openness to different ways of thinking and living. Michael Oakeshott was a 20th century British thinker who wrote “On Being Conservative.” We’ll read from the essay and mark some notable differences between the natural conservatism of Oakeshott and US conservatism today.
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