July Reading Group

  • 18 Jul 2019
  • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
  • 7729 E Greenway Rd, Suite 300, Scottsdale, AZ 85260


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PCFR Member  Only Event      


New Americanism, Why a Nation Needs a National Story by Jill Lepore

The Importance of Elsewhere, In Defense of Cosmopolitanism by Kwame A. Appiah

Why Nationalism Works, And Why It Isn’t Going Away by Andreas Wimmer

False Flags, The Myth of Nationalist Resurgence by Jan-Werner Muller

View & Download these articles here


7729 E Greenway Road, Suite 300
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(one block south of Greenway Hayden off 73rd St)

Thursday, July 18, 2019 | 7:30-9:00 am

Reification is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction is treated as if it were a concrete real item or real event. An example is using the term ‘ghost’ as if everyone knows precisely what it means, Casper or the devil? In reality, as Plato and his students taught, all words are vague and ambiguous and in communication, we never fully know what is meant by terms used by others, or for that matter, our selves, because terms, even in the same time period have a multitude of meanings and because terms shift in meaning over time. Additional examples are socialism, communism, capitalism debated daily but mean different things to different people.

A major debate today is value of the resurgence of ‘nationalism’ and the associated ‘populist ‘ appeal. As reified examples, what in your mind is nationalism and populism as we use the term today and as we used the terms in the past, how does the terms relate to internationalism and globalization and ultimately what are the strengths and weaknesses of these movements? How does nationalism and populism impact the elections in U.S., Europe ( BREXIT, Hungary, Italy Turkey, Germany, France etc.), Asia, the Middle East, South, the other Americas and Africa)?

Even though “Among countries with populations above one million, democracies have risen from 11 in 1900 to 86 in 2006 …We have seen 12 consecutive years of erosion of political rights and civil liberties…over the past decade, one in six democracies have failed….Today, only a bare majority of the world’s larger states remain democracies.” (Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution, The Global Crisis of Democracy, Profit Freedom House) .Diamond never defines ‘democracy’, clearly a reified term, but regardless of the absolute accuracy of the stats, we can understand the gravity of this political situation.

Please review the 4 commentaries from Foreign Affairs. The author’ thoughts will help us grapple with the benefits and costs the the new nationalism.

View & Download these articles here

As an alert, possible topics for future sessions are foreign aid, Churchill vs. Orwell. Stay tuned!

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