pronounced linguistic and intellectual shift has been ascribed to “the predominance of historicism, which emphasized incommensurable differences among regimes, as well as styles of thought, epochs, and cultures.” 1 The disappearance of concern about tyranny
Cary J. Nederman
Departing from Mario Turchetti's study on the concept of tyranny and tyrannicide, the author sets out to explore its specific use in the political discourse in the eighteenth century. Originally, as in the works of Plato and Montesquieu, tyranny was used in reference to degenerate forms of government. Tyranny and tyrannicide gained additional significance with its inclusion in the virulent discourse during the radicalization of the French Revolution. Based on the myth of Brutus and other classical sources, anti-tyrannical rhetoric in the form revolutionary literature and propaganda spurted political activism. As the figure of the king became the main obstacle to liberty and the foundation of a new republic, tyranny and tyrannicide became key concepts in the revolutionary movements.
In this article, the author applies the methodology of Begriffsgeschichte to the study of the concept of despotism in France, focusing mainly on the eighteenth century and the Revolution. During this period despotism became a basic concept (Grundbegriff), and thus highly contested. At the same time, the concept's long history, which stretches back to antiquity and includes the semantic boundaries that previously made it indistinguishable from "tyranny," created a diachronic thrust against which anyone seeking to add a new meaning or application had to work. Finally, as other key concepts, despotism produced political consequences unanticipated and undesired by those using it, not only major theorists but also pamphleteers, in a number of intensely fought conflicts which helped bring down the monarchy.
Crafting a ‘Philosophy of Praxis’ into a ‘Community of Resistance’
learned that the kind of organisational tyranny that Carol was suffering had a name: mobbing ( Davenport et al. 1999 ). I was surprised to learn that one of the three authors of Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace was an anthropologist
Safi Mahmoud Mahfouz
Shakespeare and Tyranny: Regimes of Reading in Europe and Beyond , edited by Keith Gregor ( Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing , 2014 ), 281 pp. This volume collects thirteen critical essays that together deliver a fascinating
Comment on Special Section on Media and Mobility
Patricia L. Mokhtarian
People have exchanged messages across distances of space or time since the dawn of human history. Modern technologies, for both travel and telecommunication, have vastly increased the speed and reach of our communication potential, but the difference from the past is not just one of degree: at least one difference in kind is the convergence of information/computing technology with communication technology (ICT), and specifically the emergence of the (now-mobile) internet. Relationships between ICT and travel are numerous, complex, and paradoxical. Speculation that “modern“ ICT could substitute for travel virtually coincided with the invention of the telephone, but scholars as early as the 1970s also realized the potential for mutual synergy and generation. Although ICT and travel have diminished the tyranny of space, they cannot be said to have conquered it.
Politics, Sociability and the Constitution of Collective Life
Will Rollason and Eric Hirsch
What kind of phenomenon is it when ordinary people in the United Kingdom unexpectedly abide by government advice on social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, even anticipating constraints on their activities? These happenings demand that we engage anthropologically with compliance – acts or activities that conform, submit or adapt to rules or to the demands of others. At present, there is no ‘anthropology of compliance’. Rather, the discipline has inherited traditions of thought about compliance – as a necessary aspect of sociability or a morally suspect complicity, demanding resistance. These assumptions remain unexamined, but profoundly shape anthropological scholarship. This introduction aims to show how and why compliance might be a useful heuristic for anthropology. We define compliance as that set of means by which actors strive to accommodate themselves to others in their collective life. We argue that this conception of compliance allows us to multiply the kinds of phenomena we can call ‘political’. It allows us to think about the political constitution of ‘radical’ difference, but to avoid making people identical with their cultural or conceptual worlds. By showing what compliance is and how it operates in and on social life, we ought therefore to be able to recover both specific forms of suffering and inequality and the ways in which social lives are constitutively different.
Modern Slavery and the Re-description of People (and Democracy) in Spain and Chile
of the majority over the minority,” that is “a tyranny.” 6 Here Guizot revisits Aristotelian conceptions of absolute democracy degenerating into a despotism of the many against the few, an idea later repeated by liberal thinkers in both the Americas
Commemorating National Socialism and Communism from the perspective
of 1989 often results in an uneasy conflation of German
guilt and victimhood. When the events of 1933-1989 are presented
as one long authoritarian period, war and tyranny can easily be construed
as external forces that simply befell the German nation.
While memories of national guilt are divisive, memories of victimhood
unify and simplify an otherwise ambiguous past. The 1995
restoration of Berlin’s Neue Wache is emblematic of this conflation
of guilt and victimhood. As the central German memorial to all victims
of war and tyranny, the Neue Wache neither distinguishes
between dictatorships, nor between perpetrator and victim.
Walter Benjamin at Portbou
As we returned south in the gloaming to Portbou, the doubts resurfaced. The Right is gathering strength again, not least in France and Spain. The borders may be open within Europe, but they remain largely closed to refugees and asylum-seekers from beyond Europe's borders. These nameless people include the bodies washed up every week on the shores of the Straits of Gibraltar, Africans trying in vain to escape tyranny, war and hatred and - the greatest oppression of all - poverty. What happened at Portbou is important to all of us. We all need to descend that staircase, confront our own mortality, confront the harm we do every day to one another and to our planet. The crimes that are committed by soldiers, police and bureaucrats - in our names.