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An employer willing to invest resources and hire a competent representative can avoid a first contract in almost every case. Experience suggests that obtaining a first contract occurs in substantially less than 50 percent of the circumstances where unions win representation elections. I explore in this chapter how the law allows employers to avoid a first contract.
Economic inequality in the United States has reached heights unscaled since before the Great Depression. Today the top 1 percent wealthiest Americans hold nearly 40 percent of the country’s wealth (up from about 20 percent in 1980) and earn over one-fifth of all income (up from about 10 percent in 1980). The doubling of top-end wealth and income inequality has coincided with economic stagnation for millions of American workers, especially men, and especially men without a college education. These troubling trends led President Obama to announce that rising inequality and declining mobility are “the defining challenge[s] of our time.”
Today’s parties are hollow parties, neither organizationally robust beyond their roles raising money nor meaningfully felt as a real, tangible presence in the lives of voters or in the work of engaged activists. The parties have become tarred with elements of polarization that the public most dislikes—from the screaming antagonism to the grubby money chase. More than any positive affinity or party spirit, fear and loathing of the other side fuels parties and structures politics for most voters. Party identification drives American politics—but party loyalty, in the older sense of the term, has atrophied. Even the activists who do so much to shape modern politics typically labor outside of the parties, drawn to ideologically tinged “para-party” groups such as MoveOn.org on the left or the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity on the right. The parties offer clear choices but get no credit. Our new Party Period features a nationalized clash of ideology and interests but parties that are weakly legitimized and hollowed out.
This essay tells one strand of a story in which philosophies of happiness and arts of love mixed and mingled— in both philosophical and literary traditions. The very idea of a philosophical art of love leads us back to Ovid, whose Ars amatoria (Art of Love, composed c. 2 CE) plays upon a vigorous tradition of instruction about love (“erotodidaxis”) already existing across the discourses of elegy, philosophy, drama and erotic treatise. As scholars have long noted, in Ovid's hands— and with his signature irony— erotic instruction engages in political and ethical questions as much as amatory matters. In contrast to the genre of the love elegy, Ovid's Ars amatoria does not create an opposition between love and civil life, but rather “sets up love as a serious ethical concern” (Green 2006, 7). Ovid portrays sexual pleasure as the root of human civilization and the height of fulfillment— the highest reward for self- knowledge. The Latin and vernacular literature of Western Europe in the later Middle Ages inherited Ovid's version of the erotodidactic tradition, and this essay explores some medieval transformations of the “art of love” as they relate to discourses of happiness. Ovid's Ars amatoria itself was widely read, commented upon and variously adapted and translated into Western European vernaculars (Minnis 2001, 35–81). I am most interested here in the absorption of Ovidian erotodidaxis into philosophical discourse.
A striking example of such absorption occurs in the twelfth century, when Andreas Capellanus wrote a widely circulated Latin treatise, De amore, clearly modeled to some extent on Ovid's text, with the narrator adopting the pose of the praeceptor amoris. The De amore— a treatise partly in the form of a scholastic quaestio dedicated to another man on the subject of heterosexual love and possibly written at the request of Marie de Champagne in the 1180s— had wide enough (and controversial enough) circulation to be included in a list of condemned texts by the bishop of Paris in 1277; Andreas's work is one piece of evidence among many that the genre of the “art of love” had already been assimilated to the forms of scholastic philosophy.
Ever since the collapse of the Third Reich, anxieties have persisted about Nazism's revival in the form of a Fourth Reich. Gavriel D. Rosenfeld reveals, for the first time, these postwar nightmares of a future that never happened and explains what they tell us about Western political, intellectual, and cultural life. He shows how postwar German history might have been very different without the fear of the Fourth Reich as a mobilizing idea to combat the right-wing forces that genuinely threatened the country's democratic order. He then explores the universalization of the Fourth Reich by left-wing radicals in the 1960s, its transformation into a source of pop culture entertainment in the 1970s, and its embrace by authoritarian populists and neo-Nazis seeking to attack the European Union since the year 2000. This is a timely analysis of a concept that is increasingly relevant in an era of surging right-wing politics.