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Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left eBook Kindle

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Número de páginas: 304 páginas Dicas de vocabulário: Habilitado Configuração de fonte: Habilitado
Page Flip: Habilitado Idioma: Inglês

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The thinkers who have been most influential on the attitudes of the New Left are examined in this study by one of the leading critics of leftist orientations in modern Western civilization. Scruton begins with a ruthless analysis of New Leftism and concludes with a critique of the key strands in its thinking. He conducts a reappraisal of such major left-wing thinkers as: E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Zizek, Ralph Milliband and Eric Hobsbawm. In addition to assessments of these thinkers' philosophical and political contributions, the book contains a biographical and bibliographical section summarizing their careers and most important writings.

In Thinkers of the New Left Scruton asks, what does the Left look like today and as it has evolved since 1989? He charts the transfer of grievances from the working class to women, gays and immigrants, asks what can we put in the place of radical egalitarianism, and what explains the continued dominance of antinomian attitudes in the intellectual world? Can there be any foundation for resistance to the leftist agenda without religious faith?

Scruton's exploration of these important issues is written with skill, perception and at all times with pellucid clarity. The result is a devastating critique of modern left-wing thinking.

Capa Interna

The thinkers who have been most influential on the attitudes of the New Left are examined in this study by one of the leading critics of leftist orientations in modern Western civilization. Scruton begins with a ruthless analysis of New Leftism and concludes with a critique of the key strands in its thinking. He conducts a reappraisal of such major left-wing thinkers as: E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Zizek, Ralph Milliband and Eric Hobsbawm. In addition to assessments of these thinkers' philosophical and political contributions, the book contains a biographical and bibliographical section summarizing their careers and most important writings.

In Thinkers of the New Left Scruton asks, what does the Left look like today and as it has evolved since 1989? He charts the transfer of grievances from the working class to women, gays and immigrants, asks what can we put in the place of radical egalitarianism, and what explains the continued dominance of antinomian attitudes in the intellectual world? Can there be any foundation for resistance to the leftist agenda without religious faith?

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  • Formato: eBook Kindle
  • Tamanho do arquivo: 1693 KB
  • Número de páginas: 304 páginas
  • Editora: Bloomsbury Continuum; Edição: 1 (8 de outubro de 2015)
  • Vendido por: Amazon Servicos de Varejo do Brasil Ltda
  • Idioma: Inglês
  • ASIN: B0161JXD7K
  • Leitura de texto: Habilitado
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  • Avaliação média: 4.5 de 5 estrelas 4 avaliações de clientes
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Formato: eBook Kindle Compra verificada
Roger Scruton é um filósofo e ensaísta de perfil conservador. Nesse livro, ele disseca os pontos de vista dos principais pensadores da esquerda do século XX.
Os capítulos são organizados por grupos de pensadores (normalmente duplas de mesma nacionalidade): Sartre e Foucault; Hobsbawn e Thompson; Downhill e Habermas.

A análise é boa, o problema é que o material estudado é, por vezes, bizarro. É difícil e cansativo acompanhar os "contorcionismos lógicos" dos esquerdistas. Eu tive que reler diversos trechos duas ou três vezes para entender o raciocínio do analisado. Scruton faz um bom trabalho, tentando dar crédito ao argumento do analisado antes de criticá-lo e, quando o faz, faz de forma aguda e objetiva.

Apesar de ser obviamente um livro crítico, Scruton consegue nos mostrar como a esquerda possui abordagens diferentes e de como pessoas inteligentes podem chegar a conclusões tão ruins partindo de premissas erradas.
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Um muito bom complemento ao "Pensadores da nova esquerda". Fortemente recomendado pra se entender o processo revolucionário. Excelente leitura. :)
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Scruton sabe do que gosta. E, mais ainda, sabe do que não gosta. Assim, este é um ótimo livro para entender as diferenças de Scruton a pensadores comumente associados à esquerda. Entretanto, o livro deixa a mostra, também, os próprios defeitos de Scruton. Por exemplo, sua crítica a alguns pensadores (Deleuze e Heidegger, por exemplo) é, em muitos sentidos, fruto das suas próprias limitações em entendê-los. E, com isso, não quero dizer que esses filósofos em particular não possam ser criticados. Mas o próprio Scruton deixa claro suas incompreensões ao escrever (embora, em geral, culpe a natureza "esotérica" dos textos). Assim, não consegue entender, por exemplo, como o filósofo Adrian Moore - a quem Scruton admira - pode considerar Deleuze um dos grandes filósofos do século XX. Nem consegue perceber o quanto a teoria do sentido de Deleuze é tributária de Frege - a quem Scruton também admira. De outro modo, tem dificuldades em compreender que o pensamento jurídico de Dworkin, por exemplo, busca compatibilizar o "common law" com a Constituição americana porque não consegue entender a importância da Constituição para um americano. Assim, sua crítica à Dworkin é, de certo modo, uma crítica aos EUA - o que ele percebe.

Por outro lado, o livro pode surpreender aqueles que esperam uma crítica destrutiva, já que Scruton demonstra apreço e admiração por vários dos pensadores abordados no livro, em especial Sartre. Assim, esse é um ótimo livro em que o filósofo britânico dá sua visão sobre diversos pensadores. Mas, talvez, ele exponha Scruton mais do que ele mesmo consegue perceber. O que também é um ponto forte - em certo sentido - deste livro.
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Excelente obra para quem não se dobra às pressões da esquerda, a qual conseguiu o " monopólio da verdade e justiça " , apesar de semear cerca de CEM MILHÕES DE CADÁVERES no Século passado aonde deteve o Poder.
Recoloca de forma o mais clara possível as contradições e incongruências que servem de alicerce para seu edifício de absurdos lógicos nunca respondidos por seus devotos, ou no máximo colocados de lado desqualificando quem questiona estes erros e omissões.
Espero ler outras obras do Autor em breve.
Como única crítica acho que a Obra em pauta poderia ser melhor dividida em capítulos mais breves, ou os capítulos serem subdivididos de forma mais didática para o leitor menos afeito a trabalhos acadêmicos.
Este livro PRECISA ser lido por todos que querem entender como funciona a Política moderna.
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Avaliações mais úteis de consumidores na Amazon.com (beta) (Pode incluir avaliações do Programa de Recompensas para Primeiros Avaliadores)

Amazon.com: 4.3 de 5 estrelas 55 avaliações
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 77 de 83 pessoa(s):
5.0 de 5 estrelas A Serious and Important Book 22 de fevereiro de 2016
Por Richard B. Schwartz - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa dura
This is an impressive and important book. Roger Scruton accepts the task of investigating the thought of a number of prominent 20thc leftist intellectuals, paying particular attention to the writings of Eric Hobsbawm, E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, Jacques Lacan, George Lukacs, Sean-Paul Sartre, Slavoj Zizek, Jurgen Habermas and Michel Foucault, with shorter examination of Edward Said and a short-short mention of Jacques Derrida.

This is a very difficult task because many of these writers have voluminous bibliographies and write with a lugubrious, sometimes impenetrable style (the near totalizing ‘abstraction’ of which leads to a set of key points). A prominent literary critic once compared a task such as this to fighting with Joel Chandler Harris’ tar baby. If you engage with the shape-shifting beast you may never come out again. On the other hand, you cannot engage with it without reading these writers’ works, lest you be called a dilettante, a ‘vulgar conservative’, or all manner of other ugly names. Scruton is none of these, but he is very brave and tenacious to suffer through the volume of material which is here under investigation.

His bottom line is that there are many common threads here, nearly all of which begin with Marx, sometimes as adumbrated by Hegel or filtered through such a shared teacher as Alexandre Kojeve. Scruton is fair in recognizing that some of these individuals’ works are impressive intellectual accomplishments, even if their conclusions are ultimately antinomian. He argues, very impressively, that many of these individuals have invented new ways of saying the same old thing. They have enlisted linguistics, epistemology, psychology, sociology, communication theory, etc. to argue, at bottom, that we will never be happy until we achieve a utopia in which the bourgeoisie is liquidated, false consciousness is transcended, the proletariat ‘rules’ as a result of its leadership by the leftist elites/intellectuals/cognoscenti. Scruton demonstrates that the proponents of these views care little for the fate of those who are tortured, imprisoned or murdered in the process and that many of them do believe in the greatness and rightness of such individuals as Stalin and Mao Zedong. They operate at a level of abstraction that sees actual human beings and their plights as incidental or unimportant. Still, they argue for an ‘end’ which is—to any sentient being—impossible to achieve.

While he attempts to be as intellectually honest and transparent as possible he does not pull punches, suggesting that one explanation for their labor is Nietzsche’s observation “that resentment is the real default condition of social beings, who know only that the other has what they want, and must be made to suffer for it” (p. 287).

I would have preferred a different title, since this one suggests that the book is a polemic or screed. It is not; it is a studied examination of the thought of a number of prominent leftists and the examination is undertaken with rigor and sophistication. In other words, this is a challenging book that deals with complex thought; it is not a triumphalist exposé of actual fools and frauds (though he does suggest that some—Lacan, e.g.—are very close to the latter).
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 45 de 48 pessoa(s):
4.0 de 5 estrelas Deconstructing the Nonsense Machine 19 de outubro de 2016
Por Reviewer - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa dura Compra verificada
As an undergraduate, I wondered why the curriculum in the humanities was so narrowly focused, and why some of these alleged-brilliant minds were not only convoluted in their theories, but sometimes deliberately obtuse/obscurantist in their writing. As I progressed to graduate school, things got even worse. The "mathemes" struck me as the Leftist's attempt to give their non-theories a kind of mathematical/scientific patina. The gibberish of "the sign and the signifiier," the incessant invocation of "the other," all of this stuff eventually became a bit wearing.

Scrutton does a good job in this short work of separating the wheat from the chaff, in addressing the dominant intellectual schools of thought, and the thinkers who made their "institutional march," first through Europe, who are now well-entrenched in American universities. This book is not the paranoid hit piece that either the title nor the cover art would lead one to believe. Scruton gives credit where it is due, especially to Foucault and Sartre, whose conclusions and solutions may be off-base, but whose keenness of mind and command of history is pretty staggering.

The ultimate picture that Scruton paints, however, is one that would be absurdly funny if so many people weren't hurt (literally and psychologically) by the unrelievedly nihilistic philosophies and theories perpetuated by the Frankfurt School, existentialists, Marxists, etc. All of the thinkers whose works and beliefs Scruton details have several features in common: they believe in the sanctity of some abstract "worker" or proletariat, despite having little or no daily interaction with their subjects, and they believe that the Left can never be held accountable for the catastrophic gulf between theory and praxis (especially regarding Marxism and Communism), and above all, they believe that people who don't believe what they believe are not merely viewing things from a different perspective, but are wrong, and either need to be ignored or somehow eliminated from the discourse.

The works that Scruton engages are many times pretentious, and, once parsed for content, revealed to be empty shell games. Naturally then, when Scruton critiques the works, he himself has to "wade in the mud" so to speak, so sometimes the reading is itself a chore. But it was a necessary public service Scruton performed in this book, and his sense of humor helps leaven what would otherwise be a punishing wade through the mire. And if you're going to college and you're going to accrue debt and a plethora of nihilistic, useless gibberish as well, you owe it to yourself to read this book and inoculate yourself. Or, if you've already been through the ringer, his book will reassure you that no, you are not alone, and that yes, Bertrand Russell was right: "Man is born ignorant, not stupid. He is made stupid through education." Recommended.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 47 de 53 pessoa(s):
5.0 de 5 estrelas It can be a bit esoteric (as is often the case with explanations of abstract concepts) but this is highly recommended for those 13 de janeiro de 2016
Por David Eaton - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa dura Compra verificada
I'm relatively new to Srcuton's work but I have found him to one of the more insightful and well-researched essayists on matters philosophy--- especially the specious attitudes of "the new left." The chapter "Culture Wars Worldwide" is especially coruscating. His explanations of Gramsci, Said and their methods regarding how to gain control via authoritarianism (whether fascist or communist) is a fascinating study in how the current culture wars are playing out. The seeds or resentment and discontent were being sowed long ago and Scruton's exposure of this "nonsense" is badly needed. Others (Camille Paglia, Bruce Bawer, Scott Thronton, Allan Bloom, e.g.) have weighed in on this as well, but Scruton's philosophical background makes for compelling reading. It can be a bit esoteric (as is often the case with explanations of abstract concepts) but this is highly recommended for those who want to look beyond the current media commentariate for deeper understandings of why things are happening as they are. No one has all the answers (as Scruton readily admits), but there's a great deal to chew on in this book.
5.0 de 5 estrelas John Kenneth Galbraith gets a good waxing. Originally published in 1985 as simply Thinkers ... 20 de julho de 2017
Por Mark Mcintire - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: eBook Kindle Compra verificada
Power is Truth: The New Left Credo — Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands Review
July 9, 2017 First Published in The EC Journal
|
Mark McIntire

Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands, written by Roger Scruton, is precisely the book that every student of modern political science and/or economics should read. Even if you don’t know the difference between a ‘dialectic’ and a ‘praxis,’ your lack of deep philosophical literacy will not impede the read. With tong and scalpel, Scruton offers the reader a narrative answer to a simple question. How did the very core idea of Western culture and law change from individual natural rights, seeking only truth, to contrived group rights, seeking only power?

Scruton wants one's inference to tumble out of these pages at the end. Fake news, identity politics, corporate shame, the evil 1%, globalism, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+, ANTIFA, and now our shooting cultural war all stem from the clever theology of group rights ordained by German theologian Karl Marx. With relentless surgical precision, philosophy professor Roger Scruton peels away layers of decayed Marxian mumbo-jumbo by later day acolytes from Sartre to Habermas, from Dworkin and Deleuze, to Lucan and Zizek, in his book Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands. Even JFK’s pet economist, John Kenneth Galbraith gets a good waxing.

Originally published in 1985 as simply Thinkers of the New Left before the collapse of the old Soviet Union, this iteration of Scruton’s communist autopsy drills down to the core presumptions of communism’s decrepit corpse. Resting on sound philosophical research, his grammar, syntax, and diction are the results of immaculate conception. If you crave French nuanced literary criticism, then this book is not for you. If, however, you crave a road map of the intellectual car crashes that led us to our common social fatality, then, by all means, get this book.

Though brutal in his exorcism of Marxian devils, Professor Scruton takes patient pains to give both substance and style credit where credit is due. In this, he demonstrates more character virtue than the far-left academics who vindictively purged him from his university teaching and writing career.

But ‘Old Left’ Communism did not die at the hands of ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher, ‘Solidarity’ inspired Pope John Paul II, and Ronald Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’. Indeed, it merely rebranded thanks to the zealous priesthood of the ‘New Left’ Marxists in Europe and America. Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands, is the intellectual chronicle of those seminary and post-ordination days for that priesthood. One subtext of this work is the strong evidence that last century’s Marxian theology has become this century’s New Left religion. These postulants, scholastic monks, and deacons insinuated themselves into contemporary politics as revolutionary socialist bishops, cardinals, and even a Pope in the person of rabid atheist Richard Dawkins. Antonio Gramsci is their martyred saint who rotted away in Mussolini’s prison as public enemy number one of the Roman Catholic Church. This communist priesthood created a socialist workers society very much like the bourgeoisie society they waged jihad to destroy, unsuccessfully as it turns out.

Limited space here does not permit dragging the reader over the alpine philosophical mountains Scruton climbs in this work, but a few passages are intelligible to any educated reader conscious of the changes in our contemporary politics. One of those is Scruton’s meticulous documentation of how modern fascists and communists have much in common despite their obvious differences in this passage:

“Communism, like Fascism, involved the attempt to create a mass popular movement and a state bound together under the rule of a single party, in which there will be total cohesion around a common goal. It involved the elimination of opposition, by whatever means, and the replacement of ordered dispute between parties by clandestine ‘discussion’ within the single ruling elite. It involved taking control – ‘in the name of the people’ – of the means of communication and education, and instilling a principle of command throughout the economy. Both movements regarded law as optional and constitutional constraints as irrelevant – for both were essentially revolutionary, led from above by an ‘iron discipline.’ “

Readers can glean from this sample, Scruton’s content, style, and comprehensive intellect.

After warning the reader that ‘this is not a word-mincing book’ in the terse introduction, Professor Scruton front-loads a strong thesis, to wit, “Liberation and social justice have been bureaucratized.” It’s not so much the clever dialectical pretzel of Marx that is responsible as much as it’s those who hijacked it for raw, brutal, murderous power. The rest of the book is a series of premises in the form of chapters deductively and inductively hammering home that conclusion with erudite blows of scholarship. This thesis is reiterated near the end as:

“To put the point another way: the Marxist theory of history, which explains all historical development as the product of changes in the economic infrastructure, is false. Historical development is as much the outcome of political will (as our ‘bourgeois’ historians have always insisted) as the outcome of ‘material’ processes.”

While acknowledging that some fascist governments were democratically elected, all Communist governments came to power by the coup d’etat (i.e. murder and mayhem). Best available estimates today on the number of humans murdered by the communist intellectual great, great grandchildren of Karl Marx range from 170 to 200 million.

Like some erudite tour bus driver, Scruton drives the reader around the intellectual wasteland of ‘group think’, ‘Orwellian Newspeak’ the ‘nonsense machine’ invented by Louis Althusser, and Gilles Deleuze, the scorched-earth attack on our ‘colonial’ inheritance by Edward Said, and the recent revival of ‘the communist hypothesis’ by Alain Badiou and motor mouth Slavoj Žižek. The intellectual landscape resembles something like Hiroshima after the bomb. Around every corner are burned out conceptual buildings of law, tradition, custom, enterprise, family, or religion, all made from the same atomic accelerant — the irrepressible individual human will for individual freedom nurtured by the false bourgeois society.

Scruton’s tour bus struggles mightily up the steep hill of Jürgen Habermas, the German intellectual and relentless theorist of the ‘public sphere’ (‘group-think’ in America) only to fall back down again exhausted. Like Sisyphus trudging after his boulder, Scruton only takes pleasure in his descriptions of Marxian ‘nonsense’ by accepting them as nonsense. The tour bus even has a stop at a bombed out psychiatric clinic where French intellectual fraud Louis Althusser died after strangling his wife to death. He claimed she was a Marxist ‘revisionist.’ Can’t have that now, can we?

Thus, the odd post-Marxian creatures Sir Scruton details for us constitute part zoo, part theme park, part waterboarding torture chamber, and part Cambodian killing field. There’s something for every political fetish here in Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands. Near the end of the book, special ridicule is reserved for the New-Left’s canonized saint, Italian firebrand Antonio Gramsci who wrote his most potent social poison in prison.

“There is another reason for Gramsci’s canonization, however. He provided the theory that promised both to solve the problem of ‘so-called great men’, and also to establish the intellectual’s right to govern. In The Modern Prince and other writings from his prison years he moved on from Leninist sloganizing and devoted himself to the task of reconciling the Marxist theory of history and society with a philosophy of political action. Gramsci referred to his theory as ‘the philosophy of praxis’, and developed it in opposition to the ‘vulgar materialism’ of Bukharin.”

It may be that the matter/spirit dialectic that Hegel twisted into a transcendental pretzel actually is the poison tree of modern western philosophy and its cultural fruit. It may be right and proper that Marx tried to chop it down. Sir Scruton will have none of that balderdash, tommyrot, eyewash speculation. Ultimately, that is the major defect in the two hundred and eighty-eight pages of this seductive decapitation of the Marxian ‘nonsense machine.’ But if that is the only defect in Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands, then we can cut Scruton some slack. After all, there’s just so much turgid nonsense a philosopher can wade through in a single book.

One final matter of some importance. In the last two chapters, 9 and 10, Professor Scruton correlates New Left’s Marxian religion with today’s constant upheaval, by balkanized mobs demanding special rights rather than equal rights. If you can’t quite imagine why these eternal dissenters, itinerant protesters, occupiers of streets, buildings, bridges, and universities cannot be appeased or mollified, then you haven’t analyzed Žižek.

Today, the default political correctness requires the intellectuals and workers to unite and ‘stand up’ for x, y, or z. It really doesn’t matter what cause x, y, or z reference, just as long as law and society is disrupted, resisted, and hopefully destroyed completely making way for a classless, genderless, Godless, workers’ paradise. Scruton illuminates the cause. It’s the constant state of ‘revolution’ of ‘us’ (the 99%) against ‘them’ (the 1%) necessary to destroy the capitalist bourgeoisie society that created them, educated them, and trusted them to seek truth. Instead, there is a ’constant struggle’ for only power since there is no other ‘truth.’ Might makes ‘right,’ and the only thing that matters is are you on the ‘right’ side of the revolution to overthrow the enslaving bourgeoises.

“Repeatedly in what follows we will encounter the Newspeak of left-leaning thinkers. Where conservatives and old-fashioned liberals speak of authority, government and institutions, those on the left refer to power and domination. Laws and offices play only a marginal part in the left-wing vision of political life, while classes, powers and the forms of control are invoked as the root phenomena of the civil order, together with the ‘ideology’ that mystifies those things and rescues them from judgement. Newspeak represents the political process as a constant ‘struggle’ concealed by fictions of legitimacy and allegiance. Peel away the ideology, and the ‘truth’ of politics is revealed. The truth is power, and the hope of deposing it.”

In “What is Right?,” the final chapter, Sir Roger answers the obvious criticism that any intelligent reader has been mulling for the prior 273 pages. With his blistering refutation of those Marxian priests that have taken perpetual vows to tear down society, has not Sir Roger become just like them offering nothing positive and only negative complaints? To say that he rises to the challenge would be an injustice. In quick bold brush strokes, Scruton paints the vibrant, textured landscape of representation and law resting on objective principles of individual human nature, individual freedom, acceptance of human imperfection while striving for it, freedom to buy or sell your labor, goods or services, freedom to join a group or not, freedom to organize a union or fund a corporation, freedom to worship a God if you will it, freedom to risk with potential for reward, freedom to enjoy the prospect of success and/or failure at the mercy of reality, truth, goodness, and beauty.

The reader can actually read just that last chapter and still drink the deep waters of philosophical wisdom between the covers of this book. It remains one of the only works in print which defends the notion that our individual life of ideas in not the sole province of the New Left apostles in the academy. He may be right, but not by half.

Prof. Mark McIntire
Contributor

Professor Mark McIntire teaches philosophy at Santa Barbara City College and publishes acerbic criticisms as The Meddlesome Priest. He also hosts a weekly radio program Minds That Matter on AM 1290 KZSB. His e-text Reason Argue Refute: Critical Thinking About Anything is available in all digital formats from Amazon and on Apple iBooks
5.0 de 5 estrelas Biting 7 de agosto de 2017
Por Mr. Bohemian - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: eBook Kindle Compra verificada
I enjoyed Mr. Scruton's chewing of the overlords of the New Left. The book is a good handkerchief slap for Sartre and Foucault. Some days I was not in the mood for the deftly aggressive tone. I can see why his contemporaries love to hate him, but he is to be forgiven for any excess of passion. He carries the onus of explication that belongs to them.
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