Politics, Ethics and Culture in Our Time

A Post-civilizational Perspective


Global capitalism is effecting changes in human life as momentous as those that occurred during the Neolithic Revolution, the Axial Age (700-300 BC), and the modern era post-1500, when industrial capitalism, state power, and science reshaped the civilized world. The transformation is paradoxical, however. Science and technology ensure material progress but the market promotes cultural obsolescence and erodes belief in the Enlightenment ideals that inspired the quest for progress. In Western democracies, liberty and equality are proving irreconcilable, citizens becoming demoralized, fraternity fractured; meanwhile despotic Eurasian states are recycling old faiths and concocting neo-imperialist ideologies. These contradictions must be confronted if the cultural values that sustain civilized life are to be conserved.

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Harry Redner, formerly Reader in Politics at Monash University held endowed chairs and visiting professorships in the USA, Germany, France and Israel. An interdisciplinary philosopher—embracing cultural history, sociology of science, and political and social theory—his recent books include: Beyond Civilization; Totalitarianism, Globalization, Colonialism; The Tragedy of European Civilization; Triumph and Tragedy of the Intellectuals; and Quintessence of Dust: The Science of Matter and the Philosophy of Mind.
part 1
West and East
  Introduction to Part 1

1The Ages and Stages of History
 1 Land and Sea Civilizations

 2 Oriental Despotism

 3 Western Modernity

 4 The Collapse of Europe

 5 Civilization in America

2 The Resurgence of the East
 1 Capitalist Despotism

 2 The Eurasian Axis

 3 Leviathan versus Behemoth

part 2
  Introduction to Part 2

3 Egalitarianism and Socialism
 1 An Outline of Western Republican Politics

 2 The Exceptional Nature of Egalitarianism

 3 The Failure of Egalitarianism in Socialist Societies

 4 The Failure of Egalitarianism in Liberal Societies

4 Fraternity and Nationalism
 1 German Nationalism

 2 The Birth of Nazism from the Spirit of Classicism

 3 Wagner, Nietzsche and Heidegger

 4 The New Nationalisms in the World

part 3
Ethics and Ethos
  Introduction to Part 3

5 Manners, Morals and Laws
 1 Success and Succession

 2 The Austen Paradox

 3 The Rule of Law

 4 Demoralization, a Short History

6 The Death of Culture
 1 Sport as Surrogate Culture

 2 The Sportification of Culture

 3 Culture and the Media

 4 Culture and the Internet

  Afterword – in the Twilight of a Cultural Dark Age



Academics and post-graduate students in the humanities and social sciences generally and in particular in Social Theory, Historical Sociology, Cultural studies, History of Ideas, Political Theory and Civilizational Studies.
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