Arthur Goldhammer om David Bells “The Cult of the Nation in France”

Goldhammer sammanfattar två intressanta tankegångar:

Invoking the work of Marcel Gauchet and Keith Baker, [David Bell] makes two key points: first, that “the intellectual achievements of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, by so clearly delineating the terrestrial sphere, also demanded a new vocabulary to describe it and to help human beings discern and maintain order and stability in the face of the terrifying absence of God,” and second, that changes in the material organization of society, and in particular in the ways and scale of warfare, entailed “a striking shift in the way France’s educated elites dealt with and perceived themselves and their government.” Out of this shift came “new or newly redefined foundational concepts of société, civilisation, patrie, nation, and public. Each allowed [elites] to imagine an arena of harmonious human coexistence whose principles did not ultimately derive from the dictates of an (increasingly absent) God.”

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