Beasts and Gods: How Democracy Changed Its Meaning and Lost by Roslyn Fuller PDF

By Roslyn Fuller

Democracy is bought to us on its skill to convey equivalent chance, and to offer each citizen an equivalent voice. but many times we see that this isn't the case: energy and spoils alike circulation to the few, whereas the numerous are left with out recourse. what's wrong with democracy?

Nothing, says Roslyn Fuller: what we've easily isn’t democracy—it’s a perversion of it, created through poorly designed electoral structures, susceptible crusade legislation, and extensive obstacles on participation and illustration at approximately each point. Backing her argument with copious empirical information reading a large choice of balloting tools throughout twenty international locations, Fuller makes her end irrefutable: if we'd like real democracy, we need to go back to the philosophical insights that initially underpinned it, and punctiliously reexamine the targets and strategies of democracy and democratic participation. a thorough, damning, but while fiercely hopeful paintings, Beasts and Gods goals to reconfigure the very foundations of recent society.</div>

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Extra info for Beasts and Gods: How Democracy Changed Its Meaning and Lost Its Purpose

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All it can do is to create motives, that is, punishments or rewards, by the force of which men may be led to provide subsistence for themselves. But nature herself has created these motives, and has given them a sufficient energy. Before the idea of laws existed, needs and enjoyments had done in that respect all that the best concerted laws could do. Need, armed with pains of all kinds, even death itself, commanded labour, excited courage, inspired foresight, developed all the facul­ ties of man.

There is nothing more different than the state of property in America, in England, in Hungary, and in Russia. Generally, in the first of these countries, the cultivator is a proprietor; in the second, a tenant; in the third, attached to the glebe; in the fourth, a slave. 16 Bentham ’s supporting argum ent demonstrates again his lack o f historical sense. , Part I, ch. 1 1 ; Ogden, p. 1 19. 32 The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy o f property. It does not need a profound knowledge o f history to see that this is not so.

So M ill’s model o f the desirable society was very different from the model o f society to w hich M odel x o f dem o­ cracy was fitted. In offering this model o f m an and o f the desirable society M ill set the tone w hich cam e to prevail in liberal-dem ocratic theory, and w hich dom inated at least the A nglo-Am erican concept o f dem ocracy until about the middle o f the twentieth century. T h e narrowing stipulation John Stuart M ill put in his model was dropped by later advocates o f developm ental dem ocracy, but the central vision and the argum ent for it stayed m uch the same.

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Beasts and Gods: How Democracy Changed Its Meaning and Lost Its Purpose by Roslyn Fuller


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