Norberto bobbio left and right

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norberto bobbio left and right

Left and Right: The Significance of a Political Distinction by Norberto Bobbio

Politicians and pundits have long disparaged their opponents with polemicist cries of leftist! or rightist! But with the fall of communism and the recent conservative ascendancy in the United States and Europe, many commentators have flatly declared that the traditional left/right distinction has lost its relevance. Now, even as political players scramble to redefine themselves with freshly spun labels, Norberto Bobbio asserts that the demise of the left/right distinction has been greatly exaggerated.

Bobbio argues that left and right are not absolute terms, but represent a shifting map of the political spectrum, relative to the particular cultural and historical contexts of a given time. The distinction continues to endure because it reflects the essentially antithetical nature and dynamics of democratic politics. In his accessible yet provocative style, Bobbio constructs a historically informed, analytic division of the political universe along two foundational axes, from equality to inequality, from liberty to authoritarianism. He then charts the past and present tendencies of the left and the right, in both their more moderate and more virulently extreme forms. Ultimately, for Bobbio, the measure of post-modern democracy will indeed lie in where and how we situate ourselves relative to these critical left/right parameters, in whether we cast ourselves, our votes, and our era in terms of political expediency, social viability, or moral responsibility.

A bestseller in Italy, where it sold over three hundred thousand copies, Left and Right is an important contribution to our understanding of global political developments in the 1990s and beyond.


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Left and Right: The Significance of a Political Distinction

Norberto Bobbio was one of Italy s foremost thinkers. Cameron is a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and of the Translators' Association. Account Options Logga in. Visa e-bok. Norberto Bobbio. Politicians and pundits have long disparaged their opponents with polemicist cries of "leftist! Bobbio argues that left and right are not absolute terms, but represent a shifting map of the political spectrum, relative to the particular cultural and historical contexts of a given time.

Norberto Bobbio was one of Italy s foremost thinkers. Cameron is a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and of the Translators' Association. Norberto Bobbio. Politicians and pundits have long disparaged their opponents with polemicist cries of "leftist! Bobbio argues that left and right are not absolute terms, but represent a shifting map of the political spectrum, relative to the particular cultural and historical contexts of a given time. The distinction continues to endure because it reflects the essentially antithetical nature and dynamics of democratic politics. In his accessible yet provocative style, Bobbio constructs a historically informed, analytic division of the political universe along two foundational axes, from equality to inequality, from liberty to authoritarianism.

Left and Right. The Significance of a Political Distinction. Norberto Bobbio. Translated and Introduced by. Allan Cameron. The University of Chicago Press.
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He also wrote regularly for the Turin -based daily La Stampa. He was also strongly influenced by Hans Kelsen and Vilfredo Pareto. Bobbio was born into what his Guardian obituary described as "a relatively wealthy, middle-class Turin family" whose sympathies Bobbio would later characterize as " philo- fascist , regarding fascism as a necessary evil against the supposedly greater danger of Bolshevism ". In , under the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini and during World War II , Bobbio joined the then illegal radical liberal socialist party Partito d'Azione "Party of Action" and was briefly imprisoned in and He ran unsuccessfully in the Constituent Assembly of Italy elections.

Collection Home. Printable Version More in this collection Search :. Reviewed by: Mark Cohen. I'm never surprised to hear people on the right argue -- as they have with increasing frequency since the fall of the Berlin Wall -- that the left-right distinction has lost all meaning, that in "democratic capitalism" our species has reached the apex of human evolution, and all that remains is a little tinkering with the details. If you benefit from the status quo, it's very comforting to live in a time when the idea that there's no viable alternative has gained such wide currency.

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