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Between Nothingness and Paradise [Hardcover]

By Gerhart Niemeyer (Author)
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Item description for Between Nothingness and Paradise by Gerhart Niemeyer...

This highly relevant essay by the prominent political philosopher has as its central theme the feature common to all totalitarian ideologies, "the total critique of society" that social criticism that rejects not this or that injustice but damns the entire "system" and overshadows an entire historical period.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: St. Augustine's Press
Pages   238
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 30, 1999
Publisher   St. Augustine's Press
ISBN  1890318051  
ISBN13  9781890318055  

Availability  0 units.

More About Gerhart Niemeyer

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Gerhart Niemeyer (1907 1997), a prominent twentieth-century Conservative thinker, immigrated to the United States from his native Germany in 1937. He taught at Princeton and Oglethorpe Universities and worked at the State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations before accepting a teaching position at the University of Notre Dame in 1955, where he taught until 1992. Between 1976 and 1982 he also taught at Hillsdale College in Michigan. An expert on international law and on Communist Ideology he was the author of An Inquiry into "Soviet Mentality, Handbook on Communism, Deceitful Peace: A New Look at the Soviet Threat, Between Nothingness and Paradise," and "Law Without Force: The Function of Politics in International Law," as well as numerous essays and book reviews.

Michael Henry studied political theory under Gerhart Niemeyer at the University of Notre Dame, where he received his doctorate in 1974. Since 1977 he has been teaching philosophy at St. John s University in New York. He is also the Series Editor of The Library of Conservative Thought of Transaction Publishers.


Gerhart Niemeyer was born in 1907 and died in 1997.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Political
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Between Nothingness and Paradise?

radical inventors  Jun 13, 2003
Between Nothingness and Paradise explores the nihilism at the heart of totalitarian ideologies. These 'total critiques of society' either negate the present for an unseen but hoped for future or wish to bring about the end of history in favor of nature (something before good and evil -- a world of clever animals, I suppose). The two approaches are not mutually exclusive and come together in interesting ways in Marx. Common to both systems is the condemnation of everything that exists (human nature, morality, the current existing order) as false, unreal and oppressive, not needing reform but requiring annihilation/destruction in the vain hope for something completely other than what is.

These types of radical negation of the present make even the possibility of goodness impossible -- sense a good life can only be lived in the present. Making the current lives of individuals (their happiness and value) meaningless and require giving-up or forfeiting in order to achieve contentment (content slaves, I guess) that will only come when man is made new.

The book deals not just with intellectual contemplative theory but also with actions that lend support and give rise to totalitarianism. Gerhart Niemeyer says " Totalitarianism would not be possible in practice if it were not for a long period of intellectual erosion preceding the advent of the activist". The average man must accept in-part the views (about reality and ethics etc..) that come to annihilate him. Once our historical past, that which gives our present actions and reality meaning (by being a part of the transcendent/eternal) has been deconstructed -- seen to be totally false and oppressive etc.. there is nothing left to hold society together there is no common ground.

Anyone could profit from reading this book -- even people like myself that no-doubt missed and misunderstood allot can gain much.


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