In Search of a Political Philosophy: Ideologies at the Close of the Twentieth Century

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1993-02-19
  • Publisher: Routledge

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In Search of a Political Philosophyis an analysis of the three democratic 'isms'--conservatism, liberalism, and socialism--and of the distinct nature of the all-consuming ideology of Marxist communism. W. J. Stankiewicz is concerned with the conscious and unconscious assumptions of the proponents and followers of each ideology, and those of their theoreticians and critics. Stankiewicz examines the norms by which political ideologies are characterized, and discusses which of these are given precedence. He provides an analysis of how each ideology views such issues as freedom and restraint, responsibility, equality, justice, power, authority, property, human nature and happiness. He also examines the areas of ideological contiguity and mutual influences, the sources of ideological incomprehension in our society, and the forces that split Western societies. In Search of a Political Philosophytakes issue with the positions of some of our leadingpolitical theorists and represents an original contribution to political philosophy in its own right. It makes a stimulating and challenging contribution to the areas of politics, political philosophy, ethics, political and social theory, the history of political thought, and the history of ideas.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Prudential Conservatismp. 15
Norms and Relativismp. 17
'Progress' and Changep. 32
Freedom and Authorityp. 43
Prudence and Politicsp. 64
The Burkean Legacyp. 76
The Nature of Governmentp. 90
Empty Liberalismp. 103
The Liberal Traditionp. 105
The Liberal Mosaicp. 122
Distributive Justicep. 157
Equality of Opportunity: a Liberal Shibbolethp. 176
Liberal Liberty and Liberal Rightsp. 187
Hedonistic Socialismp. 205
What is Socialism?p. 207
Socialism and Freedomp. 222
Socialism and the Modern Welfare Statep. 241
Freedom in Democracyp. 255
Marxist Impact on Socialismp. 270
Return to Utopianismp. 290
The Tyranny of Ideologyp. 307
The Illusion of the 'End of Ideology'p. 309
Ideology as Powerp. 333
Facing the Soviet Ideo-Systemp. 370
Sources of Western Incomprehensionp. 392
Conclusionp. 403
Towards a Definition of Ideologyp. 405
Postscriptp. 420
Notesp. 425
Bibliographical Referencesp. 441
Indexp. 445
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