By Philip Green (auth.)
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Additional info for American Democracy: Selected Essays on Theory, Practice, and Critique
This debate was about the nature and distribution of political power; and about the prospects, or not, of “real” democracy. That debate is settled: A defense of the pluralist account seems merely Science, Government, and the Case of RAND ● 29 ludicrous, when the one-sided spending of billions of dollars on elections and lobbying is inarguably the central fact of the political system. But, third, that debate itself was incomplete: it did not encompass confrontations that fell outside the boundaries of elite discourse, specifically the importance and relevance of racial and gendered determinants of the American polity.
But, third, that debate itself was incomplete: it did not encompass confrontations that fell outside the boundaries of elite discourse, specifically the importance and relevance of racial and gendered determinants of the American polity. Typically, my own contribution to the theoretical debate, as in the essay reprinted here, did not even mention race; political scientists viewed race, if at all, as a social problem, one calling for empirical or analytical treatments—what was the nature, the significance, the extent of discrimination, and how to combat it—rather than for a revision of our theoretical understanding of democracy.
8 Mill himself saw the contradiction in what he had done, and gradually moved to disentangle himself from it; one of the last acts of his active political life was to give a subscription to the Radical Workingmen’s Patriotic League—an organization much more accurately described by the first word in its title than by the third. For Mill the problem was, on its surface, the interplay between liberty and education. Having described liberty as rational action, he could not avoid recognizing that the exploitative and stultifying treatment received by the average worker was bound to make him an enemy of liberty so conceived; though not a socialist himself, he thus supported some socialist organizations simply because they and only they took the education of workers seriously.