By Jürgen Habermas
Jürgen Habermas is widely known for his scholarly works at the theoretical foundations of the human sciences. the hot Conservatism brings to mild one other aspect of Habermas's skills, exhibiting him as an incisive commentator on a variety of modern issues. The Eighties were a vital decade within the political lifetime of the Federal Republic of Germany. The variations that observed a shift from thirteen years of Social Democratic rule to govt via the conservative Christian Democrats are captured during this sequence of insightful, usually passionate political and cultural commentaries. The crucial subject uniting the essays is the German challenge of "coming to phrases with the past," an issue that has very important implications outdoor Germany in addition. Of specific word are the essays on what has become often called the Historians' Debate: Habermas's assault at the revisionist German historians who've been attempting to trivialize and "normalize" the background of the Nazi interval, and his safeguard of the necessity for a pragmatic and discriminating coining to phrases with the prior in Germany. Habermas additionally takes up the new fracas bearing on Martin Heidegger's involvement with Nazism and the increase of the neoconservative circulate in Europe and the United States. specifically, the essay on "The New Obscurity" combines Habermas's research of the issues of the welfare nation together with his feedback for avenues open to utopian impulses at the present time. the hot Conservatism is incorporated within the sequence stories in modern German Social concept, edited by means of Thomas McCarthy.
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Additional info for The new conservatism: cultural criticism and the historians' debate
The result is well known: the creation of the Wirtschaftswunder or economic miracle, which catapulted the Federal Republic, within years of its foundation, to the position of one of the world's leading industrial powers. But democratic societies do not come into being overnight. And many features of the Adenauer regimethe incredible political docility of the general populace, the fact that so many officials from the Nazi years so readily found positions of power and influence in his governmentsuggested that the essential structure of the traditional Obrigkeitsstaat (the authoritarian state of the Bismarck and Wilhelmine periods) remained in place beneath the veneer of democratic respectability.
Friedländer, "Some German Struggles with Memory," in Bitburg in Moral and Political Perspective, p. 29. Page xxviii 10. The standard account of those aspects of traditional German social structure that facilitated the mentality of popular obedience and passivity during the period of Nazi rule is Ralf Dahrendorf's Society and Democracy in Germany (New York, 1979). 11. The Inability to Mourn, p. 12 12. Or, as Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg has expressed this thought: "The bureaucrats who were involved in the extermination process were not, as far as their moral constitution is concerned, different from the rest of the population.
With the exception of the two pieces in the section on Culture and Politics and the essay "Work and Weltanschauung: The Heidegger Controversy from a German Perspective," they are taken from the two most recent volumes of Habermas's political writings, Kleine Politische Schriften V and VI, © 1985, 1987 by Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, Federal Republic of Germany. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.