Reflections On The Williams Thesis
his thesis Williams proposes the idea that capitalism is a
Williams does not provide a very good foil, however. In the first part of the quotation, Williams implies that Nietzsche doesn't have a politics, in part because he doesn't have a way of relating his ethical and psychological insights to an intelligible account of modern society. Yet this is an odd claim to make. For Nietzsche does relate his ethical and psychological insights to an intelligible account of modern society. Do many sympathetic readers of Nietzsche -- apart from Williams apparently -- really think otherwise? And moreover, how relevant is this to having a "politics?" One could, it would seem, be an excellent diagnostician of social ills without having a politics in any full-blooded or interesting sense. In the second part of the quotation, Williams offers a further criterion: In order to have a politics, one would also need a theory of the way power should be exercised in modern societies, with what limitations and to what ends. This criterion is better, yet it is still too imprecise. Unless governments or laws are involved, it is rather misleading to frame it as a political issue. If one's theory is about how private actors or corporate non-governmental agents should justifiably exercise power, is that a political theory as opposed to a social or ethical one? If so, why? If one takes what Williams says in this passage at face value, it would be rather easy to show that Nietzsche had a politics. One would basically just need to show he has views about modern society. Again, little should turn on the semantics. But I think Drochon is trying to establish something more ambitious, controversial, and thus interesting than what is indicated by Williams's criteria. As a matter of fact, I think Drochon succeeds, according to more plausible criteria, in showing that Nietzsche, in certain key respects, has a politics. The reliance on Williams is therefore unhelpful, since it does not cast into sharp enough relief what Drochon actually needs to show (and to some extent, does manage to show) in making his case.
An Empirical Inquiry Into Why Jesse Williams Is The Most Perfect ...
Before Williams the historiography of this issue had been dominated by (mainly) British writers who generally were prone to depict Britain's actions as unimpeachable. Indeed, Williams' impact on the field of study has proved of lasting significance. As and put it in the preface to a compilation of essays on Williams that was based on a commemorative symposium held in Italy in 1984, Williams "defined the study of Caribbean history, and its writing affected the course of Caribbean history.... Scholars may disagree on his ideas, but they remain the starting point of discussion.... Any conference on British capitalism and Caribbean slavery is a conference on Eric Williams."