The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Bernard Crick

Bernard Crick (born 16 December 1929) is a political theorist whose views are often summarised as "politics is ethics done in public". He seeks to arrive at a "politics of action", as opposed to a "politics of thought" or of ideology.

For Crick, the ideologically-driven leader practices a form of "anti-politics" in which the goal is the mobilisation of the populace towards a common end on pain of death. Views held by Mao Zedong of China ("Power grows from the barrel of a gun") and Josef Stalin of Russia ("The Pope? How many battalions does he control?") are therefore "anti-political" as the speaker seeks to overcome any ethics of his constituency with the threat of violence.

Critics of Crick have argued that a "seedier underbelly" also exists. Politics is, therefore, more the masking of one's essential self-interest in order to appeal to the masses - whether by force or by more peaceful means. One obvious implication of this statement is that no clear line can be drawn between the dictator and the democrat, save that the former is more inclined towards the use of force.

Crick's critics also point to his delineation between the public and private spheres as being false. This is especially true in feminist politics, in which "the personal is the political".

Bernard Crick was an advisor to British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock during the 1980s. He has also written a detailed biography of Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell).

Crick, in 1997, was appointed by his former student, David Blunkett (newly appointed as education secretary in the new Blair government) to head up an advisory group on citizenship education, which led to the introduction of citizenship as a core subject in the national curriculum.

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