Learn more about Amazon Prime. Drawing material from dozens of divided societies, Donald L. Horowitz constructs his theory of ethnic conflict, relating ethnic affiliations to kinship and intergroup relations to the fear of domination. A groundbreaking work when it was published in , the book remains an original and powerfully argued comparative analysis of one of the most important forces in the contemporary world.
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Disposable People by Kevin Bales - Paperback - University of California Press
Verified Purchase. PILS requires a lot of work.
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In order to really get something out of it, you must be have at hand several of Strauss's books Natural Right and History, The City and Man, Thoughts on Machiavelli, On Tyranny and What is Political Philosophy are the minimum requirements and you must be willing to constantly check what she is saying about Strauss against what is contained in those books. Why would you do this? I came to the realization while reading PILS that even though it overstates its arguments which results in a straw man, that almost every argument that can be made for or against Drury can be made for or against Strauss.
For example, I have argued that Strauss's interpretations of Locke, Machiavelli or Plato have to be taken seriously if for no other reason than it not easy to create a completely consistent, well-referenced version of these thinkers that is based on the entirety of their writings and on thin air. That same argument applies to what I see as the straw man Strauss that Drury has concocted. You cannot fault her for not having read enough of Strauss's writings or for coming up with textual evidence to support her view.
However, I believe that she is mistaken and that her mistakes begin on the first page of her book.
First, she states in her Preface to the Edition that she is not going to regard Strauss as largely an historian of ideas but as a philosopher "with a unique and disturbing set of ideas that he is reluctant to state clearly" p. Drury has no intention of taking Struass's own self-understanding seriously. Instead of seeing him as having possibly uncovered a theme that runs throughout Western philosophical history, she sees him as using that history as an argument from authority writ large that he can use to seduce his readers.
The single most disturbing thing about PILS is the way Drury uses the word seduction throughout this book.
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Sometimes it is metaphoric, sometimes she implies that Strauss or his followers might be pederasts or gay. For an example, see p. Strauss's theory of esoteric writing becomes, to Drury, only the means by which he practices his wiles upon his readers. Combine these two mistakes together and what you get is a Strauss who uses his commentaries on other thinkers as the means by which he states his own ideas.
This is one of Strauss's own discoveries about estoeric writings. But Drury's use of it is crude in the extreme.
ISBN 13: 9780195698428
She see Strauss as being a Nietzschean who mis reads Plato through the eyes of Farabi all while using Machiavelli as his main mouthpiece. Among other things, this means that she basically has to read Strauss so that he reads all other "great" philosophers as having the same message.
Machiavelli is telling us the same thing as Farabi and Plato; Machiavelli just makes the mistake of being blatent about it and not hiding behind esoterica. Which is useful for Strauss because in talking about Machiavelli, Strauss can say all the Nietzschean things he wants and blah, blah, blah.
All the nuance of Strauss's readings get lost in the Drury blender. Sometimes, Drury contradicts herself when it is convenient to emphasize a point.