Suspicious Minds by Evan Kindley

“Where does power really lie, and who really holds it?” the sociologist Luc Boltanski asks at the outset of his book Mysteries & Conspiracies. “State authorities, who are supposed to take charge of it, or other agencies, acting in the shadows: bankers, anarchists, secret societies, the ruling class . . . ?” Questions like this are not new for sociologists: an investigation of “power”—what it is, how it works, who has it, who doesn’t—has been one of the dominant concerns of the social sciences for more than a century, and it has received considerable attention from historians, political economists, and literary critics as well. After Marx, Freud, Foucault, and all the rest, after all, who could doubt that the intellectual’s job is to ferret out sinister operators hidden behind the placid surface of everyday life?

Yet there’s something hyperbolic, even embarrassing, about this sentiment when stated so baldly, in Boltanski’s emphatic italics. Suspicion of the powerful is all well and good, but if one is not careful, a research agenda can easily become a paranoid obsession. Then you end up in a John Le Carré novel.

Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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