Summary The Rhetoric of Reaction Perversity Futility Jeopardy 107

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With engaging wit and of Reaction ePUB #9734 subtle irony Albert Hirschman maps the diffuse and treacherous world of reactionary rhetoric in which conservative public figures thinkers and polemicists have been arguing against progressive agendas and reforms for the past two hundred yearsHirschman draws his examples from three successive waves of reactive thought that arose in response to The Rhetoric ePUB #8608 the liberal ideas of the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man to democratization and the drive toward universal suffrage in the nineteenth century and to the welfare state in our own century In each case he identifies three principal arguments invariably used the perv. A slim and extremely useful meditation on the forms that reactionary arguments which Hirschman cleverly defines as those arguments which deny not so much the validity of an aspiration to change but simply the practicality safety or governability of a recommended alteration in the status uo routinely almost deterministically fall into His point here is to show that reactionary arguments are not the product of case specific reasoning against a given social political or economic change but rather revert to simplistic meta framings often implicitly reliant on mythological topoi Oedipus Nemesis or hubris For all that the study is not psychoanalytic but straightforwardly rhetorical it bases its counterarguments on essentially prima facie readings of classic conservative texts Burke de Maistre Hayek et al I really enjoy the way that Hirschman proceeds through his evidence and I find the trio of reactionary arguments perversity futility or jeopardy that Hirschman elaborates very helpful in parsing the cant that I encounter on a day to day basis in the media or in listening to relatives or friends I am surprised to find that historians and political scientists or journalists for that matter do not make use of this book Its lucidity would be a great model for many writers and its content a valuable resource in political argumentation

Summary The Rhetoric of Reaction Perversity Futility Jeopardy

The Rhetoric of Reaction Perversity Futility JeopardyUnd Burke to Charles Murray Finally in a lightning turnabout he shows that progressives are freuently apt to employ closely related rhetorical postures which are as biased as their reactionary counterparts For those who aspire to the genuine dialogue that characterizes a truly democratic society Hirschman points out that both types of rhetoric function in effect as contraptions designed to make debate impossible In the process his book makes an original contribution to democratic thought The Rhetoric of Reaction is a delightful handbook for all discussions of public affairs the welfare state and the history of social economic and political thought whether conducted by ordinary citizens or academi. A short useful and insightful book about political rhetoric Hirschman's The Rhetoric of Reaction was published in 1991 a time when those on the left and center left were trying to understand the conservative turn in politics of the past decade Hirschman focuses not on the conservatives themselves the psychoanalyzing of political ideology that one can often see but on their arguments To do this he analyzes the responses from reactionaries to three different waves of progress 1 the wave that produced civil rights or the rise of individual liberties starting with the French Revolution 2 the wave that led to political rights namely democracyuniversal suffrage and 3 the wave that led to social rights ie the welfare state In examining the arguments used to oppose each wave of progress he comes up with another triad perversity futility and jeopardy And he presents examples from each period noting as well how the arguments can work together or coexist despite seeming incompatibility The perversity thesis is that the contemplated action will have disastrous conseuences it will in fact move in the opposite direction of what its proponents claim One of the most notable examples of this is Burke's writings on the French Revolution But this was seen as well in how reactionaries claimed that democracy would lead to bureaucratic tyranny or that the welfare state would corrupt its beneficiaries or that a minimum wage increase leaves workers worse off The perversity thesis presents a volatile world in which providence shatters any good intentions humans may haveThe futility thesis is that the contemplated action will run up against permanent structural characteristics laws of the social order and thus end up ineffective With this focus on laws the futility thesis often has a social scientific bent to it Examples include Alexis de Tocueville's writings on the French Revolution in which he claimed that the positive advances were already happening in the first place Mosca and Pareto's writings of democracy which argued that divides between the rulers and the ruled or between the elite and the non elite would resurface regardless of political form and the writings of conservative economists who claim that money allocated to help the poor will just end up in the hands of the middle class The jeopardy thesis argues that the contemplated action even if desirable in itself involves unacceptable costs or conseuences of one sort or another We can see this in how opponents of universal suffrage claimed that democracy would be a threat to political liberty and how people like Samuel Huntington and Friedrich Hayek claimed that the welfare state was a threat to democracy Although Hirschman starts the book with a focus on reactionary arguments he spends some time toward the end analyzing simplistic and common arguments used in favor of progressive change They function as inverses of the reactionary arguments Rather than arguing that taking action will have disastrous conseuences progressives say that inaction will have disastrous conseuences “imminent danger” Rather than arguing that social laws render changes futile progressives say that social laws make change inevitable “history is on our side” Rather than arguing that a change will risk past advances progressives argue for a relationship of mutual support between new and old advances “synergy illusion” And the progressive mentality itself is the antipode of the perversity thesis in viewing the possibility of rebuilding society according to the dictates of reason It's a handy framework for analyzing political rhetoric especially amidst an election season like now and an encouragement to strengthen and add nuance to one's own lines of argumentation 45 stars

Albert O. Hirschman ☆ 7 Summary

Summary The Rhetoric of Reaction Perversity Futility Jeopardy 107 Ã ❰Read❯ ➵ The Rhetoric of Reaction Perversity Futility Jeopardy Author Albert O. Hirschman – With engaging wit and subtle irony Albert Hirschman maps the diffuse and treacherous world of reactionary rhetoric in Ersity thesis whereby any action to improve Rhetoric of Reaction Epub #218 some feature of the political social or economic order is alleged to result in the exact opposite of what was intended the futility thesis which predicts that attempts at social transformation will produce no effects whatever will simply be incapable of making a dent in the status uo the jeopardy thesis holding that Rhetoric of Reaction Perversity Futility PDFEPUB or the cost of the proposed reform is unacceptable because it will endanger previous hard won accomplishments He illustrates these propositions by citing writers across the centuries from Alexis de Tocueville to George Stigler Herbert Spencer to Jay Forrester Edm. An excellent look at the arguments reactionaries make in response to various kinds of political reform as well as in a later chapter arguments made by progressives Hirschman critiues reactionary arguments and discusses why such arguments are made and why they are often accepted Highly recommended for anyone interested in political rhetoric