Theories of Tyranny: From Plato to Arendt

Theories of Tyranny: From Plato to Arendt

by Roger Boesche
     
 

This book explores a little-noticed tradition in the history of European political thought. From Plato to Aristotle to Tacitus and Machiavelli, and from Tocqueville to Max Weber and Hannah Arendt, political thinkers have examined the tyrannies of their times and have wondered how these tyrannies come about, how they work, and how they might be defeated. In

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Overview

This book explores a little-noticed tradition in the history of European political thought. From Plato to Aristotle to Tacitus and Machiavelli, and from Tocqueville to Max Weber and Hannah Arendt, political thinkers have examined the tyrannies of their times and have wondered how these tyrannies come about, how they work, and how they might be defeated. In examining this perennial problem of tyranny, Roger Boesche looks at how these thinkers borrowed from the past—thus entering into an established dialogue—to analyze the present. Although obviously tyrannies are not identical over time (Hitler certainly did not rule as Nero), we can learn partial lessons from past thinkers that can help us to better understand twentieth-century tyrannies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271014586
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
11/14/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
504
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.19(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction1
1Plato: The Political Psychology of Tyranny25
2Aristotle: Tyranny as Unnatural49
3Tacitus: Tyranny as a Politics of Pretense85
4Machiavelli: Defeating Princely Tyrannies111
5Montesquieu's Two Theories of Despotism: Fearing Monarchs and Merchants167
6Tocqueville: The Pleasures of Servitude201
7Marx: Despotism of Class and Workplace237
8Freud: The Reproduction of Tyranny285
9Weber: The Inevitability of Bureaucratic Domination327
10Fromm, Neumann, and Arendt: Three Early Interpretations of Nazi Germany381
Conclusion: Thinking About Tyranny455
Afterword473
Index477

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