Carl Schmitt – The Concept of the Political

A crisis in politics is widely assumed these days. Sometimes I am not sure whether this crisis is real or imagined. But I must admit there is a political crisis that is evident in the polarization between Republicans and Democrats. There is a political crisis because institutions have failed to deliver meaningful solutions to real... Continue Reading →

John Maynard Keynes – The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

John Maynard Keynes is widely misunderstood not because he is misread, but because so few take the time to read him. His economic theory goes beyond mathematical formulas to establish a philosophy. It is the philosophy of Keynes which ought to catch the attention of political theory. There is a historical element to Keynes’ ideas,... Continue Reading →

Carl Schmitt – The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy

My generation has faced the Great Recession and now, a global pandemic, in our lifetime. I remember watching the visuals of the World Trade Center’s destruction on 9/11. Two presidents have been impeached and a presidential election was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. My generation has endured both economic and political crises. And other... Continue Reading →

Werner Sombart – Why is there no Socialism in the United States

The campaign of Bernie Sanders was destined for failure. The American public has long rejected socialism as a political ideology despite its widespread embrace of social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance. The irony is redistributive programs have largely buttressed the capitalist system. They offer enough security to maintain widespread support for capitalism... Continue Reading →

Robert Michels – Political Parties

The Iron Law of Oligarchy describes the role of elites to control organizations. Typically, this idea is translated to democratic governance but Michels restricted his original work to political parties. Indeed, his work is truly limited to just socialist parties. But this is the irony Michels recognized within socialist politics. Despite their emphasis on the... Continue Reading →

Joseph Schumpeter – Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Schumpeter never intended to offer a landmark definition of democracy. It was an accident of fortune. In the preface to the first edition he admits, “The problem of democracy forced its way into the place it now occupies in this volume because it proved impossible to state my views on the relation between the socialist... Continue Reading →

Émile Durkheim – The Division of Labor in Society

I don’t remember when I first heard about Emile Durkheim, but it was always alongside the great names of sociology like Max Weber and to a lesser extent Karl Marx. It is interesting how there is no clear line between sociology and political science. It’s easy to reinterpret political science as simply a subfield of... Continue Reading →

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