Cover image for The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Authoritarianism Puritanism, Democracy, and Society
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Authoritarianism Puritanism, Democracy, and Society
Zafirovski, Milan. author.
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XX, 337 p. 10 illus. online resource.
Introduction -- 1 Puritanism and Authoritarianism -- Puritanism -- The Spirit of Authoritarianism -- Puritanism and Authoritarianism: Authoritarian Mastery of the Social World -- 2. Puritanism and Political Authoritarianism: Authoritarian Mastery of Politics -- Puritan Political Authoritarianism: General Considerations -- Political Anti-Liberalism -- Political Extremism -- Anti-Egalitarianism: Inequality as Divinely Ordained Destiny -- Militarism, Nationalism and Expansionism -- 3. Puritanism and Social Authoritarianism: Authoritarian Mastery of Civil Society -- Puritan Social Authoritarianism: General Considerations -- Moral Authoritarianism -- Religious Authoritarianism -- Theocracy: The Ideal And System Of Church-State -- 4. Puritanism and Social Authoritarianism Continued -- Artistic-Cultural Authoritarianism -- Educational And Scientific Authoritarianism -- Authoritarian Anti-Humanism -- 5. Neo-Puritanism and Authoritarianism -- From Paleo- to Neo-Puritanism -- Neo-Puritanism and New Puritan Authoritarianism -- Puritanism and Contemporary Authoritarianism -- 6. Authoritarian Legacy of Puritanism in Contemporary Society -- General Puritan Authoritarian Legacy: General Considerations -- Rediscovering the Puritan Authoritarian Legacy in American Society -- Elements of the Puritan Authoritarian Legacy -- The Authoritarian Legacy of Puritanism in Global Perspective -- Great Britain versus America.
Perhaps no conventional wisdom is more common and enduring in Western societies, especially America, than that of Protestant Puritanism as the source of modern liberty and democracy. "Puritans" may have become an extinct or endangered species in the original sense by the early 21st century, but continue to be honored as both the creators and the destiny of these societies, primarily America and secondarily Great Britain. "Puritans are dead as a name, long live Puritans as a concept and legacy"--that is how Puritanism can be described in America at the threshold of the third millennium. This book critically reexamines the link of Puritanism and liberty in historical and comparative perspective. The book exposes "Puritanism and liberty" as a cherished myth or "sweet lie", suggesting that the Puritan "emperor has no cloths", in historically Protestant societies, particularly America. It shows that "Puritanism and liberty" turns out to be the exact opposite, enduringly in America and temporarily in Great Britain. If Puritanism is as American as the apple pie, then it is the "apple pie" of authoritarianism and theocracy rather than of liberty and democracy.
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eBook ER16151 HM401 -1281 Electronic Resources

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This book explores the historical and contemporary relationships of Protestant Puritanism to political and social authoritarianism. It focuses on Puritanism's original, subsequent and modern influences on and legacies in political democracy and civil society within historically Puritan Western societies. There is emphasis on Great Britain and particularly America, from the 17th to the 21st century.