Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
If you loved reading Republic and Politics, if you enjoy ethical exercises, you'll love reading this ... material united by liberal liberal and conservative liberal lovers of European intellectual history.
ROBERT B. TALISSE: The question of how we should live as human beings, of what makes a human life good, goes back at least to Plato. This is because as human creatures, we face a peculiar predicament. We need one another to live well. We cannot live well in isolation.
[...]
Given the complexities of these various relationships, politics is inevitable. Since we cannot live well without the company of fellow human beings, we also cannot live well outside of a political system of processes, institutions, and rules that helps us to manage our disputes over how to live together.

Some, including Aristotle, have claimed that the aim of politics, and of our political institutions, is to make us flourish. I reject that strong view, because I don't think the government should take on the project of cultivating a particular comprehensive morality. After all, we disagree about what makes a life good! I do think, however, that we need politics if we hope to live worthwhile lives -- because cultivating relationships of shared ambition, love, care, support, and creativity does require a relatively stable and just social and political order. Although it's not the state's job to make us good, it is the state's job to sustain the social conditions under which we can live according to our own vision of what makes life worthwhile. And the political arrangement that most reliably supplies those conditions is ...

"the whole question of the constitution of the State, in order to complete as far as possible our philosophy of human affairs."
Now there are three forms of constitution, and also an equal number of perversions or corruptions of those forms. The constitutions are Kingship, Aristocracy, and thirdly, a constitution based on a property [!] classification, which it seems appropriate to describe as timocratic, although most people are accustomed to speak of it merely as a constitutional government or Republic. [2] The best of these constitutions is Kingship, and the worst Timocracy.
[...]
Timocracy passes into Democracy, there being an affinity between them, inasmuch as the ideal of Timocracy also is government by the mass of the citizens, and within the property qualification all are equal. Democracy is the least bad of the perversions, for it is only a very small deviation from the constitutional form of government.3 These are the commonest ways in which revolutions occur in states, since they involve the smallest change, and come about most easily. [...]
overdoing democracy
Democracy appears most fully in households without a master, for in them all the members are equal; but it also prevails where the ruler of the house is weak, and everyone is allowed to do what he likes.
quid pro quo
by Cat on Mon Feb 24th, 2020 at 01:51:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My view is that the purpose of democracy is to keep the working class from revolting. It is a balance between giving them a say, or an apparent say, in governing policy, and then having a governing class that actually makes the decisions. Various ways to do this have been tried, none particularly successful.
by asdf on Mon Feb 24th, 2020 at 02:52:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
semblance of democracy
certainly in USA--a republic of republics-- where there is a rhetorical tradition to that effect in free speech, equality, mobility, liberty, friendship and empathy, growths, &tc.
by Cat on Mon Feb 24th, 2020 at 03:18:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Feb 24th, 2020 at 03:22:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The working class isn't going to revolt any time soon.

The people you want to appease are the middle class transferiat - the people who live very well off the tax payer. University staff, quangos, administrators of any benefits systems, the cultural elite who sit on various boards and give each other grants.

There are millions of Sir Humphreys around.


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Feb 25th, 2020 at 06:25:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump and Brexit supporters demonstrate demand for... hmm, undemocratic... democracy, that is, for a clear gap between denizens and deciders. And I have to say, left-side images of democracy may seem to boil down to everyone conforming to an institutional alpha provider. Where is fun? Everyone is now entitled to dissatisfaction of an irate customer, including the president of the USA. Everyone has to be stressed, non-privileged, and dabble in all societal, family roles. Do we have to be so seriously equal?
by das monde on Mon Feb 24th, 2020 at 10:45:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series