Beyond Just War: Jan Patočka’s Solidarity of the Shaken

Steven Torrente’s “Beyond Just War: Jan Patočka’s Solidarity of the Shaken” appears in Telos 181 (Winter 2017). Read the full article at the Telos Online website, or purchase a print copy of the issue in our online store. Individual subscriptions to Telos are now available in both print and online formats.

The just war tradition has for a long time provided the categories and logic used to debate the tensions inherent in armed conflict. If war and killing are seen as both inevitable and undesirable, some system of limitation must be developed. Just war concepts such as right authority, just cause, and others offer a framework of off-ramps on the road to nihilistic violence. However, critics contend that just war theory fails to negotiate a real compromise between naïve pacifism and unrestrained war. They argue that the just war tradition not only reduces to the unrestrained pole, but in fact it can legitimate and exacerbate war. If so, just war thinking suffers from a logical contradiction—it facilitates that which it seeks to limit.

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Rethinking the Left’s Political Project

As an occasional feature on TELOSscope, we highlight a past Telos article whose critical insights continue to illuminate our thinking and challenge our assumptions. Today, Johanna Schenner looks at Federico Stame’s “The Crisis of the Left and New Social Identities,” from Telos 60 (Summer 1984).

In “The Crisis of the Left and New Social Identities” (1984), Federico Stame addresses the problems encountered by left-wing ideologies and political parties, such as the banality of their demands, as well as deeper underlying issues, such as the falling away of the friend-foe nexus in politics. He also provides hope for improvement by invoking the leading role of new social identities in renewing the tradition of the political Left.

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