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The Rule of the Clan

What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

A revealing look at the role kin-based societies have played throughout history and around the world

A lively, wide-ranging meditation on human development that offers surprising lessons for the future of modern individualism, The Rule of the Clan examines the constitutional principles and cultural institutions of kin-based societies, from medieval Iceland to modern Pakistan.
Mark S. Weiner, an expert in constitutional law and legal history, shows us that true individual freedom depends on the existence of a robust state dedicated to the public interest. In the absence of a healthy state, he explains, humans naturally tend to create legal structures centered not on individuals but rather on extended family groups. The modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check—and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions at our peril. At the same time, for modern individualism to survive, liberals must also acknowledge the profound social and psychological benefits the rule of the clan provides and recognize the loss humanity sustains in its transition to modernity.
Masterfully argued and filled with rich historical detail, Weiner's investigation speaks both to modern liberal societies and to developing nations riven by "clannism," including Muslim societies in the wake of the Arab Spring.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 21, 2013 – Weiner, a professor at Rutgers School of Law, presents a nuanced view of clan-based societies, from medieval Iceland to modern-day Afghanistan, in this sociological history and political treatise. Whether a barbarian dystopia or a libertarian paradise, clan-based societies, Weiner argues, provide security and social stability while subsuming the identity of the individual into the larger order. But is security worth the sacrifice of individual freedoms? Ultimately, Weiner s argument is a full-throated defense of the modern centralized state, which he sees as necessary to protect human rights: In the face of well-intended but misguided criticism that the state is inimical to freedom, we must choose whether to maintain the state as our most basic political institution or to let it degrade. An entertaining mix of anecdote and ethnography, the book is broader than it is deep, quickly springing between continents and centuries, though two extended sections on early Anglo-Saxons and the spread of Islam focus cogently on how societies can make the transition from communities in which family groups serve as the primary basis for social organization to those where the individual is paramount. Scholars of ancient civilizations and modern government will find something of value in Weiner s study.
The Rule of the Clan
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Politics & Current Events
  • Published: Mar 12, 2013
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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