Tag: careerism

Of Collaborators and Careerists

The announcement of the death of David Greenglass has got me thinking a lot about collaborators. Though much of twentieth-century history could not be written without some discussion of collaborators—from Vichy to Stalinism to the Dirty Wars to McCarthyism—the topic hardly gets a mention in the great texts of political theory. Eichmann in Jerusalem being the sole exception. In my first book on fear, I tried to open a preliminary discussion of the topic. That discussion drew from a wide range of twentieth-century experiences, in Europe, Latin America, the US, and elsewhere, as well as from my reading of Eichmann and Montesquieu’s Persian Letters. Reading over what I wrote, I’d say I failed. I was so intent on breaking apart […]

Careerism: Prolegomena to a Political Theory

Someone recently tweeted this article on Hannah Arendt that I wrote in the London Review of Books many moons ago.  Re-reading it, I was reminded of this closing passage on careerism. I’ve long wanted to write two books of political theory: one on careerism and the other on collaboration. Both are topics that don’t get much, if any, treatment in contemporary theory. Yet both have been central pillars of modern political life. Alas, it doesn’t look like I’ll get to these books any time soon.  So in the meantime, there’s this: The main reason for the contemporary evasion of Arendt’s critique of careerism, however, is that addressing it would force a confrontation with the dominant ethos of our time. In […]