Download Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left by Roger Scruton PDF

By Roger Scruton

The thinkers who've been such a lot influential at the attitudes of the hot Left are tested during this research through one of many best critics of leftist orientations in glossy Western civilization. Scruton starts with a ruthless research of recent Leftism and concludes with a critique of the main strands in its considering. He conducts a reappraisal of such significant left-wing thinkers as: E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Zizek, Ralph Milliband and Eric Hobsbawm. as well as checks of those thinkers' philosophical and political contributions, the booklet incorporates a biographical and bibliographical part summarizing their careers and most crucial writings.

In Thinkers of the hot Left Scruton asks, what does the Left appear like this day and because it has advanced for the reason that 1989? He charts the move of grievances from the operating category to girls, gays and immigrants, asks what do we installed the place...

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Extra info for Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left

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One of Longman’s best-selling educational writers threatened to take his products elsewhere if the book stayed in print and, sure enough, the remaining copies of Thinkers of the New Left were soon withdrawn from the bookshops and transferred to my garden shed. I have naturally been reluctant to return to the scene of such a disaster. Gradually, however, in the wake of 1989, a measure of hesitation has entered the left-wing vision. It is now common to accept that not everything said, thought or done in the name of socialism has been intellectually respectable or morally right.

More interesting for Marxist historians of Hobsbawm’s generation has been the idea of class. And, as we shall see in discussing Perry Anderson (Chapter 7), such historians emphasize periods of upheaval and rebellion, hoping to find evidence of a ‘class struggle’ that fuels the social and political turmoil. In this connection Marx distinguished ‘the class in itself’ from ‘the class for itself’. In a capitalist system the proletariat consists of all those who have nothing to exchange save their labour power.

We owe the term ‘Newspeak’ to George Orwell’s chilling portrait of a fictitious totalitarian state. But the capture of language by the left is far older, beginning with the French Revolution and its slogans. When it took the turn that fascinated Orwell it was with the Socialist International and the eager engagement of the Russian intelligentsia. Those who emerged triumphant from the Second International in 1889 had been granted a vision of a transformed world. This Gnostic revelation was so clear that no argument was necessary, and no argument possible, that would provide it with a justifying proof.

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