In 2020, The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) postponed its annual Mary and David Nichols Great Book Conference because of the Covid pandemic. We are pleased to announce that the department of Political Science at Baylor University has stepped up to co-sponsor the postponed event. It will occur at Baylor University, October 8-9. Dr. Flagg Taylor, Professor of Political Science at Skidmore College, will direct a conversation on totalitarianism.
The event will have five sessions during which relevant writings by such luminaries as Hannah Arendt, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Leo Strauss, and Czeslaw Milosz will be examined.
Those interested in attending the event or would like additional information are urged to contact Dr. Timothy Burns, Professor of Political Science and Graduate Program Director at Baylor University at Timothy_Burns@baylor.edu.
Below is the schedule of events and a PDF of all assigned readings can be found here.
AHI Mary and David Nichols Fall 2021 Conference on Totalitarianism
October 8 – 9, 2021
Discussant: Flagg Taylor
All selections are from “The Great Lie: Classic and Recent Appraisals of Ideology and Totalitarianism” by F. Flagg Taylor (Wilmington, DE: ISI Publications, 2011).
Day 1 – October 8
10:45 Welcome and Introduction
11:00-12:30 Session 1
Hannah Arendt, “Ideology and Terror: A Novel Form of Government” 124-147
Claude Lefort, “The Image of the Body and Totalitarianism” 177-191
1:30-3:00 Session 2
Leo Strauss, “German Nihilism” 219-240
Aurel Kolnai, “Three Riders of the Apocalypse” 241-259
3:30-5:00 Session 3
Czeslaw Milosz, “The Pill of Murti-Bing” 329-345
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “The Smatterers” 346-365
Day 2 – October 9
11:00-12:30 Session 4
Václav Benda, “The Parallel Polis” 460-476
Václav Havel, “The Power of the Powerless” 477-508
1:30-3:00 Session 5
Alain Besançon, “Moral Destruction” 553-574
Pierre Manent, “The Return of Political Philosophy” 575-592