17th Century Political Cartesianism and Its Opponents, Or Imaging the State from point fixe
In the last decades of the 16th century, Giovanni Botero (ca. 1544-1617) and Tommaso Bozio (1548-1610) put forward versions of political science that, in their opinion, disproved the principal points of Machiavelli’s political doctrine. In my paper I am going to address primarily Botero’s treatises Della ragione di Stato (1589) and Delle cause della grandezza e magnificienza delle città (1588), and Bozio’s De robore bellico diuturnis et amplis catholicorum regnis adversus Machiavellum (1593) and De ruinis gentium et Regnorum adversus impios Politicos libri VIII (1598). I am going to focus on some of Botero and Bozio’s ways of reasoning which, while enabling them to criticize Machiavelli’s political doctrine (although I never mean to say their reading of his texts was adequate!), demonstrate the extent to which these Counter-Reformation thinkers and apologists of the Holy See’s authority depend in their concepts on the author of The Prince and The Discourses on Livy. Of course, this paper cannot cover all the illustrative instances of this kind. Therefore, I will only cite the ones that, in my opinion, allow us to see the ways in which certain points of the so-called ‘Machiavelli doctrine’, while being criticized (see example #1), were ‘smuggled’ by Botero into his theory of governance and by Bozio into his new versions of church history. These new political theories were based on ‘strong’ arguments that were attributed to Machiavelli and most sharply criticized because they obviously contradicted to Christian morality. 1) Justification of manipulative governance. Anthropological and sociological ideas repeatedly articulated in the writings of Machiavelli justified the ruler using violence against his subjects. In Botero, Machiavelli’s rhetoric of salutory violence was replaced by a rhetoric of benevolent control. Whereas Machiavelli based his discourse on rejecting classical ethics, Botero based his on negating the discourse of Machiavelli rather than on rehabilitating the classical ethic discourse. Quite often, themes and provisions of the Ragione di Stato are rebuttals referring to similar themes and provisions in The Prince: quite obviously, Botero speaks of the comforts and pleasures for subjects because Machiavelli speaks of the fear they should have and the necessity of violence against them (see Example #2 - [Dell`utilità]). Whereas Machiavelli recommends the ruler to show his subjects terrible performances like Ramiro d’Orco’s execution, Botero recommends things peaceful and pleasant like good architecture, beautiful open landscapes, Carlo Borromeo-style religious feasts and sports. In his model of society, pleasure and convenience are the main needs of the subjects. Good knowledge of these needs allows the ruler to achieve all his goals and even to regulate the population numbers in different provinces of the state. Botero develops most sophisticated measures of ‘indirect’ control over the population, i.e. a kind of control that is executed not by way of orders, encouragement or punishment, but by creating an environment in which people can’t but behave the way the authorities want them to (s. example #3 for the establishment of a university and overcoming with the help of landscape planning the inconvenience of the city being filled by hard-to-control hyperactive youth, and example #4 for recommendations concerning the demoralization of disloyal subjects). 2) The secular use of the Christian religion. J. Najemy and V. Sullivan’s interpretations of Machiavelli’s attitude towards Christianity in general and to Roman Catholicism in particular allow us to gauge the extent to which Botero depends on Machiavelli in his thesis on the usefulness of the Christian religion for rulers, both Catholic and non-Catholic (see example #5). They also make it possible to clarify the genesis of Bozio’s signa Ecclesiae doctrine, including the section concerning signa temporalis felicitatis and the immanentist interpretation of what the Gospel promises to the faithful (see example #6). Analyzing the composition of Botero’s Della ragione di Stato we see how a specific political and theological logic is constructed in this work which makes it possible to seamlessly combine Christianity as a control know-how understood in an immanentist way, on the one hand, and Christianity as a transcendent source of authority and, at the same time, its eschatological horizon, on the other (see example #7 - the story about the rise of the house of Habsburg, only a few pages away from the abovementioned case made for the secular usefulness of Christianity, #5). 3) The idea of Christianity as the idea of total power. Posing as emanation of God’s authority over the world and mankind, Christian authorities model themselves on Him not only in being universal and ubiquitous, with their omniscience extending from global historic processes to the smallest details of the most insignificant man’s everyday life, but also in being incessantly and unsleepingly active. In Botero, the strength and the appeal of the ‘disciplinary power’ is based on an illegitimate pairing: minimalist anthropology and preference for manipulative measures found in Machiavelli are combined with classical teleology of political action. A Christian state of universal righteousness coupled with well-being takes the place of the Machiavellian terrorist regime that is radical and unattractive for many. A thorough control over the subjects that manifests itself in patronizing them on a daily basis is just propaedeutics, a demo of what will happen during the Last Judgment. This high degree of penetration into the life of every ordinary mortal and the desire to regulate every moment of their ordinary existence matches the importance of the ultimate task. The eschatological horizon is gradually turning into a habitual backdrop for ordinary bureaucratic procedures and centralized day-to-day dispatching of the subjects’ work, military, intellectual and other constructive efforts. Christian authorities take care of all societal institutions, even those whose presence in a Christian state always represented a problem for theologians (for example, refuting Machiavelli’s thesis that Christian soldiers lack heroic spirit and love of freedom as a result of popes’ misinterpreting Christianity to favor ozio rather than virtù, Bozio makes a case for Christian warriors excelling all others at the art of war, which, he insists, is primarily thanks to the Roman pontiffs who founded military monastic orders, an unprecedented institution serving solely the aim of promoting the art of war: see example #8) . Botero prefers to work with social and spatial totality (cf. his Relazioni universali, 1591, for geographic totality), whereas Bozio deals with historical totality. In order to refute two or three of Machiavelli’s points, he deploys whole new versions of world history: a history of proving the righteousness and the power of the Catholic Church and the truth of its teachings; a history of mankind in terms of improving the arts of politics and warfare; a history of human happiness from paganism to Bozio’s times. The main proof of the Church and the pontiffs’ authority being established by God is, according to Bozio, the spread of Catholicism throughout the known world. His version of world history has it that Catholic nations always conquered non-Catholics, and only nations that fell away from Catholicism and allowed heretics or non-Christians to rise were defeated. Bozio does not even shrink from paltering with facts of recent past. He tells about battles in which Catholics allegedly lost but a dozen of soldiers while their enemies lost hundreds of thousands. This kind of reasoning strikingly resembles that of Botero, who incorporates the pious story of Rudolph of Habsburg in his Della ragione di Stato. In Botero and Bozio’s discourse, Christianity tends to turn from a meaningful teaching into a source of authority (i.e. an authoritative self-identification of the pontiff) and, on the other hand, into a simple technique of persuasion and control to implement the pope’s authority. One very important consequence of this is that, apart from their tendency to reduce religion to mere technique and name, apologists of papal authority also excessively expand and absolutize the name of religion, identifying religion with their own authority and with this authority’s ambition to turn the entire universe to its domain. The source of the ecclesiastical authority (and of the pontiffs’ power, too) is thus substituted: the belief in absolute supremacy and sanctity of the Christian doctrine gives place to what Carl Schmitt called representation of a totality transcending all doctrines and all sanctity. In the writings of Counter-Reformation apologists, the Catholic Church turns into a symbol of the pure idea of totality, an ideal of unlimited domination that erases all differences between the present and the future, between the already implemented and the yet planned, between the material and the spiritual, between the inner and the outer, between one’s own and other people’s things, between self-motivated and forced actions, between the conscience and sense of responsibility of a person and the vigilance of the state exercising external control of each citizen’s conscience.
The monograph carried out by the joint efforts of the scholars from Italy, Russia, Brazil, and Japan sheds the light on the new methods and perspectives in the interdisciplinary investigations of the Giambattista Vico's intellectual legacy. Vico was one of the most prominent European thinkers of the 18th century, lately rediscovered and proclaimed the founding father or radical reformer of a number of scientific disciplines: sociology, philosophy of history, philosophical anthropology, philosophy of language, contemporary philology, philosophical aesthetics and history of culture. The essays brought together in this book carry out different ways of approaching the Vichian legacy and demonstrate the heuristic value of the G. Vico's thought for the resolution of problems, topical in various contexts and areas of the 21th century humanities.
In the Social Science, as different from the history of ideas, the steady preconception of viewing Hobbes as the philosopher who considered human to be a rational and selfish being exists. Such human beings in their natural condition set the war of all against all, but only the strong power can preserve them in the condition of peace. However true Hobbesian views as to the human relationships have almost nothing in common with these trivial suggestion. The article deals with some aspects of Hobbesian anthropology and his doctrine of the virtue. It is argued that the social order is represented by Hobbes as very agile and complex in its structure. At the first glance his philosophy could seem very legible and solely constructivist, designed as the triumph of coherence and implacable logic. At depth - it is not even contradictory, but the terrain of the questions without any answers.
Hobbesian philosophy holds the attention of the researches up to now. The most discussable questions are the following ones: 1. Whether the philosophy of Hobbes is to be considered in relation to his physics and metaphysics or it is an autonomous area of contemplation? 2. Is the philosophy of Hobbes immanently intelligible, as a system of interrelated suppositions or it is to be interpreted out of the historical context of his published works? 3. Is his bellum omnium contra omnes merely an intellectual construction or this notion can be referred to the historical and universal facts of social life design?
This book brings together academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines from more than twenty countries to reflect on the growing importance of transparency, power and control in our international community and how these concerns and ideas have been examined, used and interpreted in a range of national and international contexts. Contributors explore these issues from a range of overlapping concerns and perspectives, such as semiotic, sociolinguistic, psychological, philosophical, and visual in diverse socio-political, administrative, institutional, as well as legal contexts.
The collection examines the ways in which 'actors' in our society - legislators, politicians, activists, and artists - have provoked public discourses to confront these issues.
Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like sex." With this unlikely conversation began Robin's decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what's truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them? Tracing conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution, Robin argues that the right is fundamentally inspired by a hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market, others oppose it. Some criticize the state, others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality. Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society--one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention has been critical to their success. Written by a keen, highly regarded observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia, from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all rightwing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are historical improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back.
The article examines the key notions of G. Vico’s doctrine of nature, anthropology and historical process by means of the category of modality in its interpretation by Nancy S. Struever. Our study is focused on the semantic shifts of socialitas, a concept extremely important for Vichian anthropology and philosophy of history, which were performed since Vico’s earlier De Constantia jurisprudentis to the NS 44. These shifts are placed in the context of a more general process, that of transformation and complication of the modality of the Neapolitan’s texts, conceptualizing the notion of history. In our opinion, this approach could not only explain the contradictory character of the sociality in the last New Science, but could open a larger perspective in Vichian studies. It seems that the comparative analysis of conceptions put forward in Vico’s earlier writings, and modal characteristics of the texts where these conceptions are laid down would be promising a task for future researchers. Such investigations would substantially enhance the study of the Modern political discourses.
The article deals with the processes of building the information society and security in the CIS in accordance with modern conditions. The main objective is to review existing mechanisms for the formation of a common information space in the Eurasian region, regarded as one of the essential aspects of international integration. The theoretical significance of the work is to determine the main controls of the regional information infrastructure, improved by the development of communication features in a rapid process.The practical component consists in determining the future policies of the region under consideration in building the information society. The study authors used historical-descriptive approach and factual analysis of events having to do with drawing the contours of today's global information society in the regional refraction.
The main result is the fact that the development of information and communication technologies, and network resources leads to increased threats of destabilization of the socio-political situation in view of the emergence of multiple centers that generate the ideological and psychological background. Keeping focused information policy can not be conceived without the collective participation of States in the first place, members of the group leaders of integration - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Currently, only produced a comprehensive approach to security in the information field in the Eurasian region, but the events in the world, largely thanks to modern technology, make the search for an exit strategy with a much higher speed. The article contributes to the science of international relations, engaging in interdisciplinary thinking that is associated with a transition period in the development of society. A study of current conditions in their relation to the current socio-political patterns of the authors leads to conclusions about the need for cooperation with the network centers of power in the modern information environment, the formation of alternative models of networking, especially in innovation and scientific and technical areas of information policy, and expanding the integration of the field in this region on the information content.