In his 1995 book The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy, Christopher Lasch described the rise of a new meritocratic class that no longer displayed the qualities of loyal citizenship necessary for a healthy democracy. Roughly two decades later, in recent events such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, we are witnessing the “revolt of the masses” toward this elite class, and a further erosion of democracy. Are there any prospects for civic friendship and democratic renewal, or does the uncivil war between the elite and masses spell the demise of the American experiment in democratic self-government? What role does the declining influence, presence, and adherence to Christian faith play in this national divide? Can its renewal transcend the limits of the two sides in effecting reconciliation and healing?
The War of All Against All:
Aristocracy and the Revolt of the Masses
presented by Patrick J. Deneen
a First Things Lecture
Monday, September 11, 2017
University Avenue Church of Christ (map & directions)
1903 University Avenue
Austin, Texas 78705
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Patrick J. Deneen is an Associate Professor of Political Science and holds the David A. Potenziani Chair of Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining the faculty of Notre Dame in 2012, he taught at Princeton University (1997-2005) and Georgetown University (2005-2012). From 2005 to 2007 he served as principal Speechwriter and Special Assistant to the Director of the U.S. Information Agency. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University, and has also studied at the University of Chicago, Trinity College, Dublin, and several universities in Germany. His books include The Odyssey of Political Theory, Democratic Faith, Conserving America?, and the forthcoming book Why Liberalism Failed, to be published with Yale University Press in January 2018. He is also co-editor of three books and author of many articles and reviews that have appeared in both academic and more popular journals such as First Things, Commonweal, and The American Conservative.