The Ruling Ideas: Bourgeois Political Concepts (Hardback)
  • The Ruling Ideas: Bourgeois Political Concepts (Hardback)
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The Ruling Ideas: Bourgeois Political Concepts (Hardback)

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£60.00
Hardback 148 Pages / Published: 30/07/2012
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The concepts that organize our thinking wield, by virtue of this fact, a great deal of political power. This book looks at five concepts whose dominion has increased, steadily, during the bourgeois period of modernity: Labor, Time, Property, Value, and Crisis. These ruling ideas are central not only to many academic disciplines- from philosophy and law to the political, social, and economic sciences- but also to everyday life.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739166000
Number of pages: 148
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 237 x 158 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In her engaging and engaged new book, Amy E. Wendling subjects five clusters of `ruling ideas' in bourgeois societies to illuminating critiques. Probing the economic, political, social, and ethical implications of labor, time, property, value, and crisis, she locates these concepts historically, explores their ontological and epistemological underpinnings, and, in often surprising and thought-provoking ways, identifies their implications for everyday practices and large-scale crises. The author shows how ruling ideas are grounded in and transform social relations, are embodied and ingrained, provoke resistance and rebellion, and generate paradoxes and contradictions. The result is a powerful and accessible critique of ruling ideas and their role in sustaining inequality, domination, and injustice. -- Bob Jessop, Lancaster University
This book is certainly part of the current critical renewal of the Marxist tradition, but it will also be important to anyone interested in social and political philosophy, ethics and problems of bio-ethics, and to anyone who wants to understand the origin and significance of the ruling ideas of our times. . . . The Ruling Ideas helps us to understand the present and what needs to be done, philosophically and politically, to invent a better future. Indeed, I think that this is a wonderful book and a very important contribution to various discourses and disciplines. -- Bruno Gulli, Long Island University
Wendling (philosophy, Creighton Univ.) offers a Marxian reading of the concepts of labor, time, property, value, and crisis. The high point of the book is her analysis of water and property, which is thoughtful and insightful, and will be of value to others working in environmental ethics. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduate collections. * CHOICE *
An absolutely invaluable volume, The Ruling Ideas possesses enormous cross-interdisciplinary appeal, far beyond the realms of philosophy or political science. For sociologists, the question arises as to how much group behavior is shaped by these exploitative concepts. Environmentalists and bioethicists will find in Wendling's detailed discussion of the characteristics of property, as it relates to water conservation issues and the buying and selling of body parts, much theoretical background for their own work. Historians, especially, will discover their own research bolstered by the analysis offered herein; indeed, Wendling's analysis of home ownership in the light of the 2008 housing crisis calls to mind Barbara M. Kelly's Expanding the American Dream: Building and Rebuilding Levittown (1993). The Ruling Ideas reveals just how distant we remain from the horizon of true emancipation. Little wonder the continuing state of class-based oppression when even the concept of labor, for example, can so easily serve to reify bourgeois values, lending itself to the notion (even if not explicitly stated) that only those who labor-who perform specific acts of labor-have value, are citizens, are full persons. By making the commonplace uncommon, by uncovering the inhuman core of these ruling values, Wendling gives us the space to imagine a world truly different: a world in which people's experience of themselves no longer reflects that tired Cartesian dualism but instead joins mind and body in a seamless whole; a world in which time is not separate from real, lived experience; a world in which an ethic of obligation has replaced the discourse of rights, especially as those rights pertain to the ownership of things; a world in which moral value is not the measure of one's workday but rather embodied in one's basic existence. * Marx and Philosophy Review of Books *

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