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After UtopiaThe Decline of Political Faith$
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Judith N. Shklar

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691200859

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691200859.001.0001

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The End of Radicalism

The End of Radicalism

(p.218) Chapter VI The End of Radicalism
After Utopia

Judith N. Shklar

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores what answers can be offered to counsels of social despair. It explains why Romanticism refuses to analyze the social world with any degree of thoroughness. It also discusses how Christian fatalism subjects modern history to an excess of simplification in order to satisfy its sense of outrage. The chapter talks about Jean-Paul Sartre, who very characteristically notes that the conformism of Americans is due to their universal rationalism and optimism, although this spirit is no longer encountered among social philosophers in America. It mentions President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points as the last great document to testify of the faith that the advantages of democratic government appeal to all.

Keywords:   social despair, Romanticism, social world, Christian fatalism, modern history, Jean-Paul Sartre, universal rationalism

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