Monday, August 13, 2012

Ryan-related Quiz

I take this quote from this New Yorker profile of Ryan by Ryan Lizza:

He presented it not as a dry policy plan, with just numbers and actuarial tables, but as a manifesto that drew on the canon of Western political philosophy as interpreted by conservative intellectuals. The document’s introduction referred to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, Hayek, Friedman, Adam Smith, Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, John Locke, Alexis de Tocqueville, Georges-Eugène Sorel, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles Murray, and Niall Ferguson. Ryan himself seemed intent on entering the canon. “Only by taking responsibility for oneself, to the greatest extent possible, can one ever be free,” he wrote, “and only a free person can make responsible choices—between right and wrong, saving and spending, giving or taking.”

Now for the quiz: does anyone know, without looking @ Google or some print source, who in the world is Georges Sorel? (The other names are recognizable to most students of social science & contemporary thought). I know the answer because (and here's a hint) of my Modern France (1815--present) course with Professor Alan B. Spitzer & my Modern Political Theory course with Professor Lane Davis. I wrote a paper on him for Spitzer & a comparison of his thought with that of Frantz Fanon for Davis. And now I have to go read the Roadmap (which I know I don't like) just to see how Sorel got in with the other, mostly usual suspects. 

P.S. Anyone who successfully give a satisfactory answer will receive a prize to be determined.


Stephen N. Greenleaf, Esq. said...

Since writing the post I searched the Road Map (thank goodness for search options to avoid reading the entire thing!), and I found no reference to Sorel. This is somewhat reassuring, cause I don't think that those Republicans would like him if he read them.

homebase said...

a French Politician ?? :) that stood for the populace in a difficult time. Great thinker, often quoted... how am I doing?

Stephen N. Greenleaf, Esq. said...

From memory, so reader beware!

George Sorel is the late-19th early 20th century French syndicalist thinker who published "Reflections on Violence" in 1900. Sorel advocated the idea of a "general strike" and the use of violence to change society.

Now tell me how that would ever fit with Paul Ryan. I think that someone must have made a mistake!