Monday, April 23, 2012

Philip Pettit on Republicanism

Periodically I hear people try to explain the difference between the Republican and Democratic party in America by linking the Republican party with a tradition of republicanism that starts with the Roman Republic and goes through the founding fathers. Democrats are then linked to some dreadful rabble-rouser like Andrew Jackson. But Pettit's take on the republican tradition seems to say this this is all backwards. First of all republicanism is contrasted with classical liberalism, which the libertarian wing of the republican party claims as their ancestry. Second, Pettit's republican tradition has a strong tradition of government protection against private domination, which is really the thing that links all the elements of the current Democratic coalition together. It is the one thing that labor, women, ethnic, religious and sexual-orientation minorities all require.

In other news, if I listen to philosophy, rather than music on my run, I tend to walk more.

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