Destroy and Liberate -

Destroy and Liberate

Political Action on the Basis of Hume



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In David Hume's science of human nature every self is located by passions that bind it to groups, repel it from other groups, and rank it on a hierarchy: we call this discovery a 'topology of the passions'. These bound and ranked selves and groups form the matter of what he called 'government', a supposedly neutral model of political action designed to avoid the malady of faction and catapult Scotland out of feudalism into a glorious future as a commercial society, assisted by the application of the new discipline of political economy, a discipline blind beyond its functional measures of privileged variables - the growth of trade, interest rates, wage levels - measures that justify the destruction of all obstacles to the wholesale liberation of the commercial passions. To govern - a new kind of action for a new epoch - is to destroy and liberate. But ever since Hume, government has fallen apart because it fails to take into account the complexity of society as a topology of the passions. It is in Hume's History of Britain that we find the germs of another destiny for modernity in his ambivalent account of the revolutionary impact and danger of another model of political action - democratic enthusiasm - wherein to act is to incarnate an idea of commonality.

Product code: 9781783481613

ISBN 9781783481613
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H221xW152xS19
No. Of Pages 258
Publisher Rowman & Littlefield International
A major new work that breaks ground in the political understanding of both theory and action.