ECOLOGICAL THREADS IN GEORGE F. KENNAN’S POLITICAL THOUGHT
Published: 18 Jul 2016
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show George F. Kennan’s less popular face. He will be described not so much as a diplomat, but as an interesting political thinker with strong conservative inclinations. A thinker who deals with ecological issues in his works and public speeches in a fundamental rather than temporary manner. Treating ecological issues very seriously, Kennan can be placed within a broader trend of American anti-urbanism. His position also shows that there are no significant ideological grounds determining that ecological issues are to be monopolised by left-wing circles or parties. Kennan’s position seems to inspire the question why a person with conservative views should be insensitive to the degradation of the natural environment of the planet on which he lives? The subject-matter of the analysis in the reflections presented below are three questions. Firstly, it is Kennan’s look at the relationship between the human being and nature. Secondly, it is the American thinker’s attitude to big urban areas, in particular the threats to human health, morality and freedom that they generate. Thirdly, it is Kennan's diagnosis of the ability of the democratic system to undertake the gigantic task of protection of the natural environment. Kennan’s attitude to the aforementioned issues was reconstructed mainly on the basis of the following sources: Memoirs 1925-1950, Memoirs 1950-1963, a famous interview with George Urban and Democracy and the Student Left – a book prepared after the publication of a speech delivered by Kennan at Swarthmore College, entitled “Rebels Without a Program”, in The New York Times Sunday Magazine.
Keywords: george f. kennan, man and nature, rural area, urban area, anti-industrialism, anti-urbanism, industrial revolution, 18th century statesmanship, automo
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