September 1, 2012

US VS US:

Liberal Education as Problem Identification: The Case of Elections (Peter Lawler, August 31, 2012, Big Think)

One feature of democracy that we're thinking a lot about these days is elections.  The giants of political philosophy don't agree on how to think about elections,  but they tend to agree that they are both beneficial and dangerous to democracy.  But with all their problems, we democrats these days could hardly do without elections.

Harvey Mansfield, quite the relevant political philosopher, gives us a quick primer on how a freshman reading list in political philosophy can get anyone up to speed on the various identifiable features of the problem of elections.  You'll have to read his whole (brief) article to really learn something.  But for those whose learning style is PowerPoint or TED lecture or blog post, I will reduce each of the six philosophers to a single proposition (also known as bullet point).

One of the signal geniuses of democracy, and the reason that the Right's partisan hysteria about President Obama is so malignant, is that elections make us complicit in our own governance.  There is no reason to expect better of the Left, but conservatives have a moral obligation to remember that any duly elected government is a "we," not a "them."  







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Posted by at September 1, 2012 5:58 AM
  

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