This disparagement of politics and of those who take society seriously as a shared project is characteristic of certain currents of the “right,” but not necessarily of conservatism as such. It is important to recognize that there is a logical connection between this disparagement and attempts to describe “republican virtues” according to an extreme individualism, to assert a morality whose primary function is to distinguish the good “us” from the bad “them,” to define “freedom” as “freedom to own.” Perhaps most important, it can be seen in the attempts to demonstrate that the very notions of society and government are essentially “totalitarian.”Read the whole thing, if that is possible. Points to anyone who can paraphrase concisely.
Such an attitude easily shades into a dread of “change,” hence the misuse—by those who identify themselves with today’s radical right—of the label “conservative.” This is not a fear of change as such; it is a fear of the sort of change that encourages rethinking basic assumptions about the social world and moral principles.
The humanities bring to the forefront of thought the existence of society, disclosing the necessity to recognize the politics that comes with collective life.I'm afraid, and I don't know why.