Equality by Default: An Essay on Modernity as Confinement

Equality by Default: An Essay on Modernity as Confinement

by Philippe Beneton
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1932236333

ISBN-13: 9781932236330

Pub. Date: 07/31/2004

Publisher: ISI Books

For most of our contemporaries, to speak of modernity is to think immediately of liberty, equality, and democracy -- and to assume that all is well. But things are not so simple. For while the culture of modernity has spread gradually throughout the West for roughly two hundred years, it accelerated in the 1960s in such a way as to undergo a subtle transformation.

Overview

For most of our contemporaries, to speak of modernity is to think immediately of liberty, equality, and democracy -- and to assume that all is well. But things are not so simple. For while the culture of modernity has spread gradually throughout the West for roughly two hundred years, it accelerated in the 1960s in such a way as to undergo a subtle transformation. Hence the paradox of the world we live in: by all appearances the "rights of man" have emerged triumphant, yet at the same time they have been emptied of substance because of their radicalization. Modern man finds himself isolated and ensnared. By right, his autonomy should strengthen him; but in fact, he has been dispossessed of himself. The great artifice of our time is to give conformism the mask of liberty. Philippe Beneton, a prominent French conservative, has long meditated on Tocqueville, and Equality by Default is quintessentially Tocquevillian in that it does not offer a partisan polemic but rather paints a picture of contemporary life -- a picture that is also a guide for those who have a difficult time "seeing" contemporary liberalism for what it is. Artfully translated by Ralph Hancock, Equality by Default offers a unique and strikingly insightful account of the late-modern mind.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932236330
Publisher:
ISI Books
Publication date:
07/31/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Prefaceix
Author's Prefacexiii
Prologue: The Indiscreet Universityxv
Part 1Scorched Earth
Chapter 1The Stages of the Rights of Man3
Chapter 2The Two Versions of Equality15
Chapter 3The Alma Mater and the Necktie27
Chapter 4Soulless Institutions33
Chapter 5Knowledge as Accomplice45
Chapter 6Peguy and the Economist57
Chapter 7The World at Our Disposal73
Part 2The Irrational Rationalization of the World
Chapter 8Reason, Mcdonald's, and Being83
Chapter 9The Procedural Rationalization of the World91
Chapter 10The Two Versions of Liberal Democracy99
Chapter 11The Instrumental Rationalization of the World109
Chapter 12The World as Meaningless Spectacle121
Part 3The Fool's Bargain
Chapter 13The Mess of Pottage135
Chapter 14Disarmed Masters139
Chapter 15Role Playing147
Chapter 16The Unequal Equality of Opinions155
Chapter 17The Self Against Being171
Epilogue 1Sic et Non185
Epilogue 2Non191
Notes195
Index211

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