Enlightenment Against Empire

Author: Sankar Muthu
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400825882
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In the late eighteenth century, an array of European political thinkers attacked the very foundations of imperialism, arguing passionately that empire-building was not only unworkable, costly, and dangerous, but manifestly unjust. Enlightenment against Empire is the first book devoted to the anti-imperialist political philosophies of an age often regarded as affirming imperial ambitions. Sankar Muthu argues that thinkers such as Denis Diderot, Immanuel Kant, and Johann Gottfried Herder developed an understanding of humans as inherently cultural agents and therefore necessarily diverse. These thinkers rejected the conception of a culture-free "natural man." They held that moral judgments of superiority or inferiority could be made neither about entire peoples nor about many distinctive cultural institutions and practices. Muthu shows how such arguments enabled the era's anti-imperialists to defend the freedom of non-European peoples to order their own societies. In contrast to those who praise "the Enlightenment" as the triumph of a universal morality and critics who view it as an imperializing ideology that denigrated cultural pluralism, Muthu argues instead that eighteenth-century political thought included multiple Enlightenments. He reveals a distinctive and underappreciated strand of Enlightenment thinking that interweaves commitments to universal moral principles and incommensurable ways of life, and that links the concept of a shared human nature with the idea that humans are fundamentally diverse. Such an intellectual temperament, Muthu contends, can broaden our own perspectives about international justice and the relationship between human unity and diversity.

Empire Colony Genocide

Author: A. Dirk Moses
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781845454524
Size: 41.65 MB
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In 1944, Raphael Lemkin coined the term 'genocide' to describe a foreign occupation that destroyed or permanently crippled a subject population. This text is a world history of genocide that highlights what Lemkin called 'the role of the human group and its tribulations'.

Memory Empire And Postcolonialism

Author: Alec G. Hargreaves
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739108215
Size: 41.51 MB
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Long repressed following the collapse of empire, memories of the French colonial experience have recently gained unprecedented visibility. This interdisciplinary volume explores the multiple forms of this upsurge and the forces driving it in popular culture, scholarly research, and public commemorations.

Johann Georg Hamann And The Enlightenment Project

Author: Robert Alan Sparling
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442642157
Size: 19.45 MB
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Johann Georg Hamann (1730-1788) was a German philosopher who offered in his writings a radical critique of the Enlightenment's reverence for reason. A pivotal figure in the Sturm und Drang movement, his thought influenced such writers as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Johann Gottfried Herder. As a friend of Immanuel Kant, Hamann was the first writer to comment on the Critique of Pure Reason, and his work foreshadows the linguistic turn in philosophy as well as numerous elements of twentieth century hermeneutics and existentialism. Johann Georg Hamann and the Enlightenment Project addresses Hamann's oeuvre from the perspective of political philosophy, focusing on his views concerning the public use of reason, social contract theory, autonomy, aesthetic morality and the politics of 'taste,' and the technocratic ideal of enlightened despotism. Robert Alan Sparling situates Hamann's work historically, elucidates his somewhat difficult writing, and argues for his relevance in the ongoing culture wars over the merits of the Enlightenment project.

Elusive Origins

Author: Paul B. Miller
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813931290
Size: 76.64 MB
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Although the questions of modernity and postmodernity are debated as frequently in the Caribbean as in other cultural zones, the Enlightenment—generally considered the origin of European modernity—is rarely discussed as such in the Caribbean context. Paul B. Miller constellates modern Caribbean writers of varying national and linguistic traditions whose common thread is their representation of the Enlightenment and the Age of Revolution in the Caribbean. In a comparative reading of such writers as Alejo Carpentier (Cuba), C. L. R. James (Trinidad), Marie Chauvet (Haiti), Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe), Reinaldo Arenas (Cuba), and Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá (Puerto Rico), Miller shows how these authors deploy their historical imagination in order to assess and reevaluate the elusive and often conflicted origins of their own modernity. Miller documents the conceptual and ideological shift from an earlier generation of writers to a more recent one whose narrative strategies bear a strong resemblance to postmodern cultural practices, including the use of parody in targeting their discursive predecessors, the questioning of Enlightenment assumptions, and a suspicion regarding the dialectical unfolding of history as their precursors understood it. By positing the Cuban Revolution as a dividing line between the earlier generation and their postmodern successors, Miller confers a Caribbean specificity upon the commonplace notion of postmodernity. The dual advantage of Elusive Origins's thematic specificity coupled with its inclusiveness allows a reflection on canonical writers in conjunction with lesser-known figures. Furthermore, the inclusion of Francophone and Anglophone writers in addition to those from the Hispanic Caribbean opens up the volume geographically, linguistically, and nationally, expanding its contribution to a nonessentialist understanding of the Caribbean in a Latin American, Atlantic, and global context.

The Stillbirth Of Capital

Author: Siraj Ahmed
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804778116
Size: 65.79 MB
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This book targets one of the humanities' most widely held premises: namely, that the European Enlightenment laid the groundwork for modern imperialism. It argues instead that the Enlightenment's vision of empire calls our own historical and theoretical paradigms into question. While eighteenth-century British India has not received nearly the same attention as nineteenth- and twentieth-century empires, it is the place where colonial rule and Enlightenment reason first became entwined. The Stillbirth of Capital makes its case by examining every work about British India written by a major author from 1670 to 1815, a period that coincides not only with the Enlightenment but also with the institution of a global economy. In contrast to both Marxist and liberal scholars, figures such as Dryden, Defoe, Voltaire, Sterne, Smith, Bentham, Burke, Sheridan, and Scott locate modernity's roots not in the birth of capital but rather in the collusion of sovereign power and monopoly commerce, which used Indian Ocean wealth to finance the unfathomable costs of modern war. Ahmed reveals the pertinence of eighteenth-century writing to our own moment of danger, when the military alliance of hegemonic states and private corporations has become even more far-reaching than it was in centuries past.

Empire And Modern Political Thought

Author: Sankar Muthu
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139576593
Size: 21.86 MB
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This collection of original essays by leading historians of political thought examines modern European thinkers' writings about conquest, colonization and empire. The creation of vast transcontinental empires and imperial trading networks played a key role in the development of modern European political thought. The rise of modern empires raised fundamental questions about virtually the entire contested set of concepts that lay at the heart of modern political philosophy, such as property, sovereignty, international justice, war, trade, rights, transnational duties, civilization and progress. From Renaissance republican writings about conquest and liberty to sixteenth-century writings about the Spanish conquest of the Americas through Enlightenment perspectives about conquest and global commerce and nineteenth-century writings about imperial activities both within and outside of Europe, these essays survey the central moral and political questions occasioned by the development of overseas empires and European encounters with the non-European world among theologians, historians, philosophers, diplomats and merchants.

Reclaiming The Enlightenment

Author: Stephen Eric Bronner
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023150098X
Size: 63.88 MB
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This book tackles an obvious yet profound problem of modern political life: the disorientation of intellectuals and activists on the left. As the study of political history and theory has been usurped by cultural criticism, a confusion over the origins

American Insurgents

Author: Richard Seymour
Publisher: Haymarket Books
ISBN: 1608461629
Size: 62.94 MB
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"Seymour's obsessively researched, impressive first book holds its place as the most authoritative historical analysis of its kind."—Resurgence All empires spin self-serving myths, and in the United States the most potent of these is that America is a force for democracy around the world. Yet there is a tradition of American anti-imperialism which gives the lie to this mythology. Richard Seymour examines this complex relationship from the Revolution to the present-day. Richard Seymour is a socialist writer and runs the blog Lenin's Tomb. He is the author of The Liberal Defense of Murder. His articles have appeared in the Guardian and New Statesman.

Virginia Woolf And The Bloomsbury Avant Garde

Author: Christine Froula
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231508786
Size: 57.56 MB
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Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde traces the dynamic emergence of Woolf's art and thought against Bloomsbury's public thinking about Europe's future in a period marked by two world wars and rising threats of totalitarianism. Educated informally in her father's library and in Bloomsbury's London extension of Cambridge, Virginia Woolf came of age in the prewar decades, when progressive political and social movements gave hope that Europe "might really be on the brink of becoming civilized," as Leonard Woolf put it. For pacifist Bloomsbury, heir to Europe's unfinished Enlightenment project of human rights, democratic self-governance, and world peace -- and, in E. M. Forster's words, "the only genuine movement in English civilization" -- the 1914 "civil war" exposed barbarities within Europe: belligerent nationalisms, rapacious racialized economic imperialism, oppressive class and sex/gender systems, a tragic and unnecessary war that mobilized sixty-five million and left thirty-seven million casualties. An avant-garde in the twentieth-century struggle against the violence within European civilization, Bloomsbury and Woolf contributed richly to interwar debates on Europe's future at a moment when democracy's triumph over fascism and communism was by no means assured. Woolf honed her public voice in dialogue with contemporaries in and beyond Bloomsbury -- John Maynard Keynes and Roger Fry to Sigmund Freud (published by the Woolfs'Hogarth Press), Bertrand Russell, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, Katherine Mansfield, and many others -- and her works embody and illuminate the convergence of aesthetics and politics in post-Enlightenment thought. An ambitious history of her writings in relation to important currents in British intellectual life in the first half of the twentieth century, this book explores Virginia Woolf's narrative journey from her first novel, The Voyage Out, through her last, Between the Acts.