Crick asserts that politics, with its compromises and power struggles, remains the only tested alternative to government by coercion, making both freedom and order possible in heterogeneous societies. For Crick, politics is necessarily imperfect, messy and complex, yet his book defends it against those who would identify it with (and reduce it to) ideology, nationalism, technology or populist democracy. In this fifth edition, Crick warns us that present-day politicians are in danger of threatening both citizenship and common humanity. He discusses the popular distrust for politicians in both the UK and USA, arguing that they have lowered the level of public debate for short-term gain; and he discusses how such short-termism is preventing timely attempts to tackle despoliation of the global environment.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Fifth Edition; Acknowledgements; 1. The Nature of Political Rule; 2. A Defence of Politics Against Ideology; 3. A Defence of Politics Against Democracy; 4. A Defence of Politics against Nationalism; 5. A Defence of Politics Against Technology; 6. A Defence of Politics Against False Friends; The non-political conservative; The a-political liberal; The anti-political socialist; 7. In Praise of Politics; Three Footnotes; A Footnote to Rally the Academic Professors of politics (1964); A Footnote to Rally Fellow Socialists (1982); A Final Footnote to Rally Those Who Grudge the Price (1992); Epilogue (2000)
Sir Bernard Crick is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London, and Honorary Fellow in Politics at the University of Edinburgh.