Jean-Claude Michéa

Rebellion and conservatism: the lessons of 1984 - Jean-Claude Michéa

A transcript of a 1995 talk in which Michéa discusses the continuing relevance of the ideas of the self-proclaimed “tory anarchist”, George Orwell, featuring: Orwell’s concepts of “generous anger” and “common decency”; the moral bankruptcy of the “totalitarian intellectuals” whose desire for power was rooted in resentment; the left’s disastrous “uncritical approval” of “the mechanization” and “unlimited modernization of the world”; and concludes the talk with a call for a “critical conservatism”, which Michéa characterizes as “one of the necessary pillars for any radical critique of supermodernity and the synthetic ways of life” it is imposing on us.

"Preface" to Impasse Adam Smith - Jean-Claude Michéa

A provocative introductory essay by the author of Impasse Adam Smith that maintains that the Left, “which has always presented itself … as the sole legitimate heir of Enlightenment philosophy”, with its “religion of ‘Progress’”, “nourished on exactly the same philosophical sources as modern liberalism”, is not only alien to the spirit of the original socialism of the early 19th century, but is also intrinsically incapable of constituting a real challenge to contemporary capitalism, and that “the requirements of a coherent battle against the liberal utopia … render a radical break with the intellectual imaginary of the Left politically necessary”.

The school of ignorance and its modern conditions - Jean-Claude Michéa

In this 1997 essay, contemporary educational reform is offered as an illustration of not only the destructive effects of capitalist modernization, but also of the ambiguity of a “libertarian” concept of progress (exemplified by “the recuperable side” of May ‘68) that often only serves to facilitate and justify capitalism’s elimination of traditional structures of human society (customs, family, etc.) that once shielded humanity from the noxious effects of the ongoing realization of capitalism’s “negative utopia” (an “anthropological impossibility”) that reduces humans to “monads” of “enlightened self-interest”.