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To Change the WorldThe Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity Today$
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James Davison Hunter

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730803.001.0001

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Power and Politics in American Culture

Power and Politics in American Culture

Chapter:
(p.101) Chapter Two Power and Politics in American Culture
Source:
To Change the World
Author(s):

James Davison Hunter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730803.003.0009

Power now does the work that culture used to do. This is seen in the tendency toward the politicization of nearly everything. Politicization is most visibly manifested in the role ideology has come to play in public life, the well-established predisposition to interpret all of public life through the filter of partisan beliefs, values, ideals, and attachments. As a consequence, we find it difficult to think in ways to address public problems or issues in any way that is not political. Politicization means that the final arbiter within most of social life is the coercive power of the state. Our times amply demonstrate that it is far easier to force one’s will upon others through legal and political means than it is to persuade them or negotiate compromise with them. What adds pathos to this situation is the presence of ressentiment, defined by a combination of anger, envy, hate, rage, and revenge.

Keywords:   power, politics, politicization, public, ideology, Nietzsche, will to power, ressentiment, political culture

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