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Michigan State University

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PTCD Job Talk - Dr. Lucy Cane

Monday, December 9, 2019 4:00 pm

Location: JMC Library

Please join Professor Lucy Cane as she presents "Sheldon Wolin and the Specter of Totalitarianism from 1960 to Trump" 

Both critics and defenders of American liberalism have long invoked the specter of "totalitarianism" to defend their positions. In the influential book Politics and Vision (1960), Sheldon Wolin disputes the widely assumed antithesis between American liberalism and totalitarianism, arguing that the former actually risks descending into the latter. Professor Cane critically analyzes both this argument and Wolin's claim fifty years later that the United States is becoming an "inverted totalitarian" regime. What is the ongoing relevance of this diagnosis in the era of Trump?