1st Edition

Unsettled Affinities

Edited By Reinhard Bendix Copyright 1993
    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    Unsettled Affinities was Reinhard Bendix's final work. It has a unique place in his writings, as it continues the themes contained in the two volumes of Embattled Reason and extends them in his consideration of the idea of community. For Bendix, our affinities are personally, socially, and politically unsettled and unsettling.From birth, each person goes through a life-cycle, buffeted by circumstance and uneasily suspended between the risks of individual opportunity and the need for psychological support from others. All of us stand at the intersection of many social groups formed by the family, social clubs, occupation, or given by the ethnic and national affiliation into which we are born.Bendix perceived these psychological and social groups as a source of strength as well as the source of the particularist drives that ultimately aim to serve universalist aspirations. It is in this series of paradoxes that political tasks arise: how to deal with the scarcity of goods and the inequality of life changes. Unsettled Affinities explores the ethical paradoxes of personal affiliation, social universalism, and political unity in Western civilization.The work is divided into three parts: an initial, personal reflection on the author's emigration from Hitler's Germany; an extended examination of the social definitions of community in Western civilization; and a consideration of politics, civil society, and the legitimation, of power. In the social and political sections, special attention is given to Germany.The consideration of Germany in the post-Communist world was not completed. Using notes, letters, and lectures, John Bendix, the author's son, has provided an epilogue that gives indications of the direction Reinhard Bendix's thought was heading, and Rudolf von Thadden has contributed an appropriate final thought in his "Endangered Affiliations."


    Reinhard Bendix