So here’s my weekly breakdown of readings for CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THOUGHT, which begins next week. Thanks to Flagg Taylor for giving me a one-book resource (THE GREAT LIE—what a perfect collection!) on ideology and totalitarianism, which, in fact, I have never taught at Berry.
Your comments are welcome.
Weekly Reading Assignments
1, Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols in THE PORTABLE NIETZSCHE, 464-505
2. Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, the rest of the book
3. Leo Strauss, “The Three Waves of Modernity,” in AN INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY; Martin Heidegger, Letter on Humanism, hand-out
4. Hannah Arendt, “Ideology and Terror: A Novel Form of Government”; Leo Strauss, “German Nihilism”; Eric Voegelin, “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” all in THE GREAT LIE.
5. Pierre Hassner, “Communist Totalitarianism: The Transatlantic Vagaries of a Concept”; Michael Burleigh, “National Socialism as a Political Religion”; Raymond Aron, “The Future of Secular Religion,” all in THE GREAT LIE.
6. Vaclav Havel, “The Power of the Powerless,” “Politics and Conscience,” and selections from Letters to Olga: all found in THE GREAT LIE, 26-31, 290-309, 477-508, 531-540.
7. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, “Our Muzzled Freedom” and “We have ceased to see the Purpose” in THE GREAT LIE; Solzhenitsyn, “The Harvard Address” (hand-out); Raymond Aron, “Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and European Leftism,” in THE GREAT LIE
8. Mid-term week (Late)
9. Pierre Manent, “The Return to Political Philosophy”; Chantal Delsol, “Traces of a Wounded Animal”; Tzvetan Todorov, “Totalitarianism: Between Religion and Science,” all in THE GREAT LIE; Jacques Derrida, The Gift of Death, selection to be determined.
10. Wilson Carey McWilliams, THE DEMOCRATIC SOUL, 192-206, 44-55, and Part 4 (329-98); a selection to be determined from Marilynne Robinson, WHEN I WAS A CHILD I READ BOOKS
11. Walker Percy, LOST IN THE COSMOS
12. Percy, LOST IN THE COSMOS, the two Space Odysseys
13. Leo Strauss, “What is Liberal Education? and “Liberal Education and Responsibility” in AN INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.