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Our Own Invisible Hand: Antipolitics as an American Given

  • Erwin A. Jaffe

Abstract

If modern political thought begins with Thomas Hobbes, the most unequivocally propolitical of political philosophers, then the search for modern antipolitics might also begin with his work. ‘Propolitical’ here refers to Hobbes’s assessment of political life and his account of its origins, both of which are driven, I believe, by the conviction that politics is the sine qua non of human survival, indeed of humanness as such.

Keywords

Public Good Political Power Political Life Invisible Hand Federal System 
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Notes

  1. 13.
    E. A. Jaffe, Healing the Body Politic: Rediscovering Political Power (Westport, Conn: Praeger, 1993), p. 212.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    See A. Schedler, ‘Anti-Political-Establishment Parties’, Party Politics, vol. 2, no. 3 (1996), pp. 291–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 16.
    See G. O’Donnell, ‘Delegative Democracy’, Journal of Democracy, vol. 5, no. 1 (1994), pp. 55–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 18.
    The phrase is from C. Covey, The American Pilgrimage: The Roots of American History, Religion, and Culture (New York: Collier, 1961), p. 7.Google Scholar
  5. 19.
    J. Locke, Second Essay of Civil Government 1st edn 1689 (New York: Henry Regnery, Gateway Edition, 1964), section 49.Google Scholar
  6. 21.
    J. Barlow, ‘The Hasty Pudding’ (a poem in three cantos), quoted in C. B. Todd, Life and Letters of Joel Barlow, L. L. D. (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1886), p. 101.Google Scholar
  7. 34.
    E. S. Morgan, Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1988), p. 146. See also pp. 28–54, 122–48, 174–262.Google Scholar
  8. 41.
    J. C. Oates, Black Water (New York: Penguin/Plume, 1993), p. 42.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erwin A. Jaffe

There are no affiliations available

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