Democracy, Disillusion, and Thresholding

  • Stephen A. Erickson
Part of the Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture book series (PSCC, volume 6)


I have presented some symptoms of the unraveling of our age. Positively construed, they herald a growing attempt on the part of individuals to rely more on themselves, a strengthening, thus, of self-reliance. But these symptoms leave many unresolved questions regarding the optimal conditions for and the true nature of self-reliance. They also move us further into the coming Age of Thresholding, for individuality, self-reliance, and thresholding are significantly interconnected, and, at a minimum, this interconnection is undoing coercive formations.


Human Life Political Order Instrumentalist Attitude Educational Formation Religious Sensibility 
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  1. 16.
    George Orwell, “Politics and the English language,” in The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell; Volume 4, 1945–50 ( Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978 ), p. 16.Google Scholar
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    This aspect of Francis Fukuyama’s thesis in The End of History and The Last Man is surely correct, however questionable other of his assertions are. See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and The Last Man (New York: The Free Press, 1992).Google Scholar
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    Paul Kennedy’s Preparing For the Twenty First Century (New York: Vintage, 1994) does a remarkable job of bringing the negative consequences of such policies into clear focus.Google Scholar
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    The word ‘archeological,’ however tempting, is problematic, for it strongly suggests the influence, even dominance of what has been, but no longer is. Thresholder concern relates to the future, a new rather than an excavated and thereby recaptured frontier.Google Scholar
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    As found in Peter Ackroyd’s extraordinary Blake (London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1995), p. 367.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen A. Erickson
    • 1
  1. 1.Pomona CollegeClaremontUSA

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