Send this book to every politician you know. Dec 2 2011
by Shamal Currin (Lachine QC Canada) (5 star rated)
I have yet to read a book that contains more history on politics, than this book. I was mesmerized by the stepping from level to level of understanding that is encompassed by the history presented and, true to Hardy form, the level of "soul" keeps coming forward.
In her own words(refering to Fox and Winstanley)
"...the human world is so cruel because people in general are not enough in touch with themselves, with their own nature and inner journey: they act out their own darkness in the world as individuals and societies, externally fighting those people and elements they perceive as their enemies, because they have not come to terms with the darkness and conflicts within themselves. A world at war, within the person, in the family, in the community, in the countries, is in this view, the result of the actions and perceptions of a person or a society out of touch with what is deepest and most whole within themselves".(p.159)
Who else but Jean Hardy can combine politics and the psychology of the soul? Who else has the ability to see the deeper picture, and present it in a manner that is easily understood by both students of politics and those that admit their ignorance?
In this book, Hardy captures the essence of what is real in this world, and what we are all striving for, both withinh ourselves as well as our outer world; an authentic understanding of who we truly are. She proposes that, when we find out the ever important question of who we are, we will then have an understanding of the kind of politics we require, the potentiality of politics, and the capacity we each have to create change; perhaps to perceive and respond to that which already is.
If every politician, and aspiring politician, in every country would take the time to read and digest this book, and the information contained, I know we would have a more peaceful, harmonious world in which to live."
~ jean hardy, Amazon.com
You must read this book. If you are interested in political philosophy you will find it fascinating. If you are not you soon will be. This is a book written as books should be written....Despite the unquestionable scholarship and wide-ranging sources, the book has a feel of a set of stories which help the reader to explore and roam round the ideas and get to know the people who developed them. It allows the reader to reflect on what politics is about: what it is for, who it is for, what is included and what tends to be left out......The second part of the book, which draws on quite a marvellous breadth of literature, focuses on themes that politics tend to ignore. This includes women, feminine questions, the Earth, the unconscious, the spiritual, native wisdom. So it invites us both to stray away from traditional and mainstream sources of wisdom and ways of thinking as well as exhorting us to reconsider what politics is for....Read this book. Dip into it; read it backwards; buy it for your friends; emulate its style; read its references; learn its poems. You will not be disappointed. ~ Dr Jean Boulton. physicist, business consultant, environmentalist, writng on complexity theory and its application., Review is in the Greenspirit Journal. edition on Spirituality and Politics. Spring 2011.
As the political process has become increasingly managerial and parties have tended to move to occupy the middle ground, ideas and values have become less important than competence. A wider vision and deeper understanding represented by earlier ways of thinking and feeling encourages us to reconnect to the Cosmos and the Earth....Our highest aspirations have yet to be translated into politics, and it is not clear how a transformation of consciousness might impact upon our institutions. In the first instance we need a wider public debate about the scope and potential of human nature and values. Gender roles are already being redefined, but structures have yet to evolve in a corresponding fashion. Gradually, however, a planetary understanding of our role is emerging and along with it a planetary consciousness and a planetary ethic. Jean has made a valuable contribution to this essential reorientation towards a wisdom society. If your political thinking needs refreshing and extending, then this wide-ranging book is a valuable resource. ~ David Lorimer, Editor, Network Review. Scientific and Medical Network. Spring 2011.
....A Wiser Politics is a book from someone questioning the very foundations of her subject. The first part summarises(very effectively)the most important thoughts of the most important thinkers in what is grandly called 'the Western political tradition'. The second and the third parts are devoted to what is wrong with it, and what it leaves out...this is the very same Western tradition that has, over the centuries, regarded itself as leading the world, and has had the economic,military and cultural power to do so. This then is a book that speaks up for those whom this traditon has omitted or marginalised: women, indigenous people, the natural world, children, the voices of spirituality and the unconscious....it would have been difficult to imagine this book at an earlier historical period because it is globalisation that reminds the West, every day now, that it is not the only part of the world that matters......No page is wasted, which means that the reader should never feel bogged down, and if you do want to follow up with further reading around the topic, there are plenty of helpful suggestions.If I were a teacher of politcal philosophy, this is a book I would definitely add to my reading list.
~ Victor Anderson. Resurgence. .July/August 2011
For all those who have been looking for a new politics, this is it! ~ Satish Kumar, Editor, Resurgence.
The book is a comprehensive, succinct and brilliant study of political thought during the last four hundred years, showing how certain philosophical assumptions laid the foundations of our political attitudes today.It shows the far-reaching effects of of those assumptions and how incomplete or inadequate some of them are in relation to the crisis we face now when planetary needs need to take precedence over national ones.
With precision and clarity, Dr Hardy shows how certain ideas have become deeply embedded in political thought and still exist today - a mainly negative view of human nature where the male is the dominant gender and the combative and sinful nature of man is taken for granted; the idea that woman can be assigned a subservient, inaudible and invisible role in society; and the assumed superiority of the white man which leads him to view the people he conquers as different and inferior, with a consquent contempt for and ignorance of their culture and spiritual traditions; the belief that we are a totally separate species with a right to possess and subdue the earth for our own needs.
Like Isaiah Berlin before her, she challenges the political ideas under which we now live: "The political philosophy that now dominates the world springs, I believe, from the partial and dangerous pictures of human nature that have been present for the last four hundred years."...Her book offers a detailed and thorough exposition of the major themes and beliefs that underlie the actions of governments today and an equally clear description of what is lacking in them and what a wiser politics would consist of, summarised in the last chapter of of her book. As she writes: "We have to question our older assumptions in attempting to govern the world, and embrace another more fulfilling, saner story".
A stunning achievement in 200 pages....a valuable contribution to a deeper understanding of our age and of ourselves. It should be required reading for every university student of politcal philosophy and everyone who aspires to be a politician or a responsible citizen of the planet.
Anne Baring. Author and co-author of seven books, and a retired Jungian analyst. Forthcoming book on 'The Dream of the Cosmos' ~ Anne Baring
The human race has been appallingly served by its politicians over the last few hundred years. In 'A Wiser Politics', Jean Hardy tellls us why this is. With penetrating insight, she uncovers the philosophic myopia and the spiritual vacuum of our modern philosophic systems, and suggests what we need is to establish a new political outlook which is underpinned by a spiritual and holistic vision. A fascinating and inspiring book.
Author of 'The Fall' ~ Steven Taylor
At a time when politics is increasingly pragmatic, Jean Hardy's important book reminds us of the deeper roots of politics and stories about human nature. She diagnoses the shortcomings of modern European political thinking and outlines the key missing elements - the feminine, indigenous knowledge, the natural world and the spiritual dimension - proposing a new and conscious politics of interconnections. This is a vital message for our times.
Scientific and Medical Network ~ David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network
Who else but Jean Hardy could have crafted this concise, lucid work? Here is a political book steeped in poetry - historically rich, psychologically astute and spiritually radiant.
Author of 'The Spell of the Sensuous' and 'Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology' ~
In this slender volume Jean Hardy generously shares a lifetime of enquiry into the human psyche, political organisation and the mystery of our shared experience with non-human natures. In opening a dialogue of values that are excluded from contemporary Western thought, she invites us to embody wiser choices for living in this riveting moment of human and earth history. I will defintely be recommending this text to students, as we attempt to understand the contexts giving rise to current socio-economic crises.
Dr Sian Sullivan. Lecturer in Environment and Development. Birkbeck College. University of London. ~ Dr Sian Sullivan, lecturer in Environment and Development. Birkbeck College. University of London