The Democratic and The Authoritarian State. Essays in Political and Legal Theory.

NEUMANN Franz.; MARCUSE Herbert. Edited and with a Preface (1957.)

£350.00  [First Edition]

Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

First edition, first printing. 8vo. x, 303, [1] pp. Original black cloth, spine lettered in silver and blue, blue endpapers, fore and bottom edges untrimmed, dust jacket. A near fine copy. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press & The Falcon's Wing Press

A posthumously published collection of essays by the Frankfurt School political scientist Franz Neumann, edited with an introduction by his friend and colleague Herbert Marcuse. Neumann is best-known for analyses of National Socialism and authoritarian states in general.

The central concern of this collection is stated concisely in a crucial essay, ‘The Concept of Political Freedom’. According to Neumann, there was 'no doubt that today the citizen's alienation from democratic political power is increasing', and that the resulting growth of mass political apathy was playing 'into the hands of demagogues'. Indeed, Neumann quickly added, it might easily lead to caesarism, or mass-based authoritarianism. After ascribing to the idea of political freedom three core (judicial, cognitive, and volitional) elements, Neumann diagnosed a “crisis of political freedom”: contemporary liberal democracy’s failure to realise political freedom’s rich normative potential opened the door to authoritarian movements that tapped anxiety and fear, emotions that Neumann interpreted as undergirding irrational conspiracy theories and, ultimately, the construction of an or “enemy” whose very existence allegedly represented a life-or-death threat. Irrational anxiety and exclusionary authoritarian politics directed against a despised “other”, on this account, went hand in hand (Scheuerman, Liberal Democracy’s Crisis).

Stock Code: 244103

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