THE CRISIS OF POLITICAL IMAGINATION by Glenn inder

THE CRISIS OF POLITICAL IMAGINATION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It begins like yet another work on Alienation, treading the familiar darkness: the passing of class disintegration (i.e. the class struggle) into mass disintegration (i.e. affluent egalitarianism and purposelessness), all under the perplexing clouds of our post-political era. Fashionable phrases (""the eclipse of being,"" ""estrangement from history"") and fashionable thinkers (too numerous to note) are paraded in evidence. Midway the dealer's hand is shown: ""the demand of our time- which can be ignored only at the ultimate price of the continual decay of Western civilization- is that society be reconstituted on the foundations of evelation, faith and vision."" Precisely what does this mean, asks the author bravely, and there follows the second half. Now though liberalism, democracy, socialism and conservatism are outdated, still ideas such as liberty, representative government, social justice, and respect for tradition, are not. We have only to revitalize, restructure them. History may seem superficially progressive, fundamentally it is tragic; however, not hopeless: put God back in History ""then it must be regarded as destined to be spiritually triumphal."" To say that such a theological reading of our woes, with its eschatological concerns and Christian etaphysics, does not come to grips with our mundanities (technological, population, atomic and other explosions), is to say little that need be said. Read it not for its thesis, but for its illustrations, its immense (if frequently irrelevant or contradictory) erudition.

Publisher: Scribners