Political Theory

Noam Chomsky: Requiem for the American Dream (2015)

This is accessible, non-exhortative Noam Chomsky and although the focus of this dissertation of his is the systemic dismantling of American idealism, the questions that he raises certainly finds resonance in the countless democratic struggles against concentrated wealth and power in lands spread out across the globe, India included. Economic inequality, more than ever, is at the heart of the agonies of a majority populace embattled on all fronts, and their suffering made more acute by what Chomsky delineates as the ten principles of the concentration of wealth and power, principles articulated by the self interests of Adam Smith‘s minuscule minority, the “masters of mankind” following the vile maxim of “all for ourselves and nothing for anyone else.” These principles are: 1. Reduce Democracy, 2. Shape Ideology, 3. Redesign the Economy, 4. Shift the Burden, 5. Attack Solidarity, 6. Run the Regulators, 7. Engineer Elections, 8. Keep the Rabble in Line, 9. Manufacture Consent, 10. Marginalize the Population. Read More…

Hannah Arendt: the Language remains. 1964

Hannah Arendt remains one of the leading German-American intellectuals from the last century. In this televised interview with German journalist Günter Gaus from October the 28th, 1964, Arendt (then 58) responds to a wide range of queries centering around philosophy, politics and gender, regarding herself more of a political theorist than a philosopher as she does hint at a ‘disdain’ of sorts for the circle of philosophers. She also reflects on Auschwitz, Germans, Jews and Judaism, assimilation, anti-Semitism, Zionism and Israel, Germany and German. At a particularly telling moment she says “What remains? The Language remains”. For Arendt, history is a chronicle of the exceeding of expectations. As one of Arendt’s formative influences, German philospher Martin Heidegger, stressed, individuals do matter. In this interview Arendt does come across as the charismatic public intellectual that she was, but at the same time, her states of tension over certain contradictions convey themselves as well. Towards the closure, she pays a loving tribute to her mentor, German philosopher and psychiatrist Karl Jaspers, with resonances from her genuinely uplifting work ‘The Human Condition’. Watch.

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