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Pragmatism, Politics, and Perversity : Democracy and the American Party Battle,9780739173633
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Pragmatism, Politics, and Perversity : Democracy and the American Party Battle

by
ISBN13:

9780739173633

ISBN10:
0739173634
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
6/14/2012
Publisher(s):
Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc
List Price: $110.00

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Summary

The political project of pragmatism has focused primarily on its defense of democracy as the best political system to maintain and improve human well-being over lifetimes and generations. Pragmatism Politics and Perversity: Democracy and the American Party Battle describes this project of Peirce, Dewey, Hook, and Rorty, and combines it with Charles Beard's study of the party battle as the most determinative influence upon American democracy. The book updates and confirms Beard's hypothesis that the history of the party battle is a chronicle of perverse schemes and self-inflicted wounds the most salient to date being the American Civil War because it reflects a ceaselessly disruptive contest over the creation of two largely incompatible political states: nation state and market state.The book supports its thesis with detailed historical accounts of the formation of the Constitution and early federal judiciary, the sedition trials and political schemes of the 1790s, the frustration of market state Whigs to attract white working-class voters by exploiting their religious identities, the reckless machinations of Whig Republicans in precipitating a national crisis over a contrived threat of oligarchy and white slavery, and the ideological oscillations of the Supreme Court from market state to nation state jurisprudence and back again.To reduce perversity in political rhetoric and free up pragmatic democratic practices, the book proposes a robust neo-Madisonian view of free speech, where political actors and their surrogates are not only free to speak and write, but are also obligated to explain, retract, and revise what they have said and written.

Author Biography

Joseph L. Esposito supports his thesis with detailed historical accounts of the formation of the Constitution and early federal judiciary, the sedition trials and political schemes of the 1790s, the frustration of market-state Whigs to attract white working-class voters by exploiting their religious identities, the reckless machinations of Whig Republicans in precipitating a national crisis over a contrived threat, of oligarchy and white slavery, and the ideological oscillations of the Supreme Court from-market state to nation-state jurisprudence and back again. To reduce perversity in political rhetoric and free up pragmatic democratic practices, the author proposes a robust neo-Madisonian view of free speech, where political actors and their surrogates not only are free to speak and write but are also obligated to explain and, if necessary, retract and revise what they have said and written. Joseph L. Esposito is research associate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Arizona.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Toward a Pragmatic Theory of Democracy
Pragmatism and the Democracy Projectp. 3
Pragmatic Political Historyp. 23
Perverse Themes and Schemes in Party Battle History
A Foundation on a Serbonian Bogp. 39
Market State and Nation Statep. 51
A Judiciary for the Market Statep. 67
Rogue Justicep. 77
Too Much Democracyp. 95
Judicial Review as Ideologyp. 109
Religion and Racep. 131
Old Wine in New Bottlesp. 145
Rewriting Historyp. 159
The Great Kansas Charadep. 169
Free Labor and the Economics of Slaveryp. 185
Civil Warp. 195
Disorder in the Courtp. 207
Improving American Democracy
Understanding the Party Battlep. 229
Free Speech in the Age of the Big Megaphonep. 241
Notesp. 261
Bibliographyp. 319
Indexp. 351
About the Authorp. 363
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


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