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Politics without Vision: Thinking without a Banister in the Twentieth Century Hardcover – April 20, 2012
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Expanding on Arendt, thinking without a banister, in the sense of lacking a deep grounding which guides thinking and action, such as a transcendental faith, a clear moral system or a guiding philosophy, is both an advantage and a disadvantage (as briefly recognized by the author on page 385). It is an advantage because pondering is not constrained and therefor may be more creative. But lacking a banister is also a disadvantage, because pondering may lack directions and get lost in mental labyrinths, up to moral relativism and nihilism.
Different and very dangerous is having misleading banisters which misdirect thinking and action. But this is quite different from having no banisters. Thus, Lenin clearly had banisters which he further developed in his impressive theoretic thinking which served as guide for his policies. Also, Lenin had a vision casting doubts on his inclusion in a book the main title of which is "Politics Without Vision." His banister and vision were in part wrong and therefore put the Soviet Union on an erroneous trajectory, which became tragic under Stalin, but this is another matter.
The author well presents and discussed some of the central views of the selected thinkers.Read more ›