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Storytelling is universal; a constitutive, definitive part of human nature.[1] We imagine our earliest ancestors sitting around the fire telling tales of heroic adventures and otherworldly interventions. Examples of our earliest extant written texts are epic poems likely derived from oral storytelling. We become fascinated by stories that happened long ago or far away as children. Until the development of…

Flattering the Demos: Fiction and Democratic Education.  Marlene K. Sokolon and Travis D. Smith, eds. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018.
 
This edited compilation by Marlene Sokolon and Travis Smith makes important contributions to the field of political science teaching. Concerned to understand better how the study of fiction through multiple genres can inform and shape democratic education, the editors begin these investigations…

Eric Voegelin’s 1956 essay “Necessary Moral Bases for Communication in a Democracy” is of tremendous worth to the careful analyst of 21st century American political thought.   It sheds much light on the effect that communication styles may have on the character of a society, and it sheds further light on the true but concealed nature of pluralistic societies.  Characterizations of…

In Voegelin’s essay about industrial society, he explored how the American economy had adapted to ever-changing economic circumstances, with its technological productivity and rationalization of forms of production now being led by the service sector. The structure of American industrial society had been so transformed by the service sector such that marco-economic comparisons between the United States and the Soviet…

Voegelin’s essay, “Democracy in the New Europe” (1959), was written in a period of transition in Eric Voegelin’s career, having left Louisiana State University in the United States to Ludwig Maximilian University in Germany.[1] Already having published his best-known works–The New Science of Politics (1952) and Order and History Volumes 1-3 (1956-57)–Voegelin was working on his mature theory of consciousness,…

Alexis de Tocqueville’s Theory of Democracy and Revolutions. Michał Kuź. Warsaw: Lazarski University Press, 2016.
 
Michał Kuź’s Alexis de Tocqueville’s Theory of Democracy and Revolutions is an attempt to combine Tocqueville’s political theory with the insights of contemporary social scientists on politics, culture, and technology. Tocqueville, he argues, formulated a general model of political change that has been shown to have…

Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair. Bonnie Honig. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017.
 
Public Things examines how public practices, space, and objects can form a collective identity in an age of privatization and deregulation. Although she does not define public things, Honig gives examples like public universities, prisons, national parks, roads, the military, government, electrical and power sources, libraries, and radio…

Both deontological and classical liberalism have been criticized by communitarian thinkers who contend that liberalism is rooted in an incoherent conception of the self because it fails to take into account the communal aspect of our self-conception, thereby making the liberal doctrine of acquisitive individualism inadequate as a foundation of civic virtue for a community of free and equal citizens.[1]…

Democracy, Language, And Rhetoric1
“Democracy, Language, and Rhetoric” is a legitimate and important topic. However, upon confronting it, one initially encounters at least three formidable complexes of questions. Here’s an inventory of the issues that I see:
First, what do we want to learn about rhetoric and language in democracies? Are we inquiring what democratic rhetoric is? Are we curious about the…

Our systems are at the breaking point now. We need more roads, more hospitals, more schools, more nurses, more teachers, more police, more fire, more water, more energy, more ports . . . more, more, more. [1]
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Socrates apparently maintains a contradiction in his discussion of the democratic constitution in the state and soul. At times he describes democracy as a…