Moral Man and Immoral Society: Study in Ethics and Politics (Library of Theological Ethics)
Moral Man and Immoral Society is Reinhold Niebuhr's important early study in ethics and politics. Forthright and realistic, it discusses the inevitability of social conflict, the brutal behavior of human collectives of every sort, the inability of rationalists and social scientists to even imagine the realities of collective power, and, ultimately, how individual morality...more
Among the incredibly abundant piercing insigh...more
I feel the proletariat is romanticized – who will be their leader – to be a leader one must rise above the proletariat level. In Hitler’s rise to power he was supported by all levels of societ...more
It's also nice to be reminded of a time when religious thinkers had nuanced intellectual positions. I'm sure these thinkers exist today, but the only opinions I hear from rel...more
Niebuhr's writing implies that he had little room in his hypot...more
In Moral Man and Immoral Society, Niebuhr claims that Dewey underestimates the place of coercion and violence in human interactions. Niebuhr doubted that the social sciences could follow the natural sciences through experimentalism, since they were tied so carefully to various biases and predilections. From his perspective, interest-free social science was an oxymoron.
In his 1932 e...more
A Review of Reinhold Niebuhr's Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics, New York, Scribner’s, 1932. 277 pages, $11.95
Let me first briefly state what this book is about: liberals are mistaken in thinking that individuals and society behave in the same ways and that solutions to moral problems should be the same for both. You can learn a different view here from a Christian and Marxist perspective.
Before getting into details a...more
Economics, in its standard formulation, assumes rational markets, built from a base of rational actors. Summers, though a sexist jerk, was absolutely right to question that assumption, at least for purposes of dealing with real markets. Which brings us to Niebuhr. Moral Man, his 1932 bombshell, assesses the place of ethics, reason, religion, and persuasion in human societies. Niebuhr is as forceful as Summers, somewhat less of a sexist jerk, and fo...more
Current events and what they've revealed about our own expectations regarding how our government should react and behave indi...more