Corey Robin

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Corey Robin (born 1967) is an American political theorist, journalist and professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has written books on the role of fear in political life, tracing its presence from Aristotle through the war on terror, and on the nature of conservatism in the modern world, from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump. Most recently, he is the author of a revisionist study of Justice Clarence Thomas that argues that the mainspring of Thomas's jurisprudence is a combination of black nationalism and black conservatism.


Fear: The History of a Political Idea[edit]

  • The rule of law is not an exception to rule by fear; it is the fulfillment of rule by fear.
  • Hobbesian state power was not intended for greatness, but to curtail challenges from below. It succeeded when its subjects merely stood still or got out of its way. Their immobility was the outward sign of their fear ... a fear all the more potent for the minimal power that aroused it.
  • Leviathan was like the Wizard of Oz, an illusion built from the calculations and imagination of those beholding it. But if there was not much behind the curtain, it did not really matter. For whatever was there, the beholder of the illusion could be certain that the sovereign possessed more power than he wielded himself.

Quotes about Robin[edit]

  • Robin is a lumper, an über-lumper, which may please his beleaguered readers on the left, but makes his entire enterprise incoherent. He fails to see that it is based on a glaring fallacy of composition: he posits a class, isolates a characteristic of one of its members, and then ascribes that characteristic to every member of the class.
    • Mark Lilla, "Republicans for Revolution", The New York Review of Books (January 12, 2012)

External links[edit]

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