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Foreign Policy and the American Mind

Foreign Policy and the American Mind_Nisbet

Tags War and Foreign PolicyPolitical Theory

03/16/1978Robert A. Nisbet

It is only too clear that behind the tactical and strategical problems of our relations with the rest of the world-not to emphasize the occasional humiliations-lie some major difficulties of perspective. They are most plainly political difficulties, but they are also moral, rooted in our growing tendency to identify political matters with a transcendent moralism.


Robert A. Nisbet

Robert Nisbet (1913–1996), the eminent sociologist, taught at Columbia University and made his mark on intellectual life through observing the intermediating structures in society that serve as a bulwark between the individual and the state. He was known as a conservative, and his work is on every list of conservative contributions to the social sciences, but far from being a typical conservative, he blasted conservatism as a species of militarist and invasive interventionism, one that abused people's public and private pieties in the service of a ghastly civic ethic of statism. He is the author of The Present Age: Progress and Anarchy in Modern America and Twilight of Authority.


Institute for Humane Studies, Menlo Park, 1978

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