The Phantom Public

Voorkant
Transaction Publishers, 1993 - 195 pagina's

In an era disgusted with politicians and the various instruments of "direct democracy," Walter Lippmann's "The Phantom Public "remains as relevant as ever. It reveals Lippmann at a time when he was most critical of the ills of American democracy. Antipopulist in sentiment, this volume defends elitism as a serious and distinctive intellectual option, one with considerable precursors in the American past. Lippmann's demythologized view of the American system of government resonates today.

"The Phantom Public "discusses the "disenchanted man" who has become disillusioned not only with democracy, but also with reform. According to Lippmann, the average voter is incapable of governance; what is called the public is merely a "phantom." In terms of policy-making, the distinction should not be experts versus amateurs, but insiders versus outsiders. Lippmann challenges the core assumption of Progressive politics as well as any theory that pretends to leave political decision making in the hands of the people as a whole.

In his biography "Walter Lippmann and the American Century, "Ronald Steel praised "The Phantom Public "as "one of Lippmann's most powerfully argued and revealing books. In it he came fully to terms with the inadequacy of traditional democratic theory." This volume is part of a continuing series on the major works of Walter Lippmann. As more and more Americans are inclined to become apathetic to the political system, this classic will be essential reading for students, teachers, and researchers of political science and history.

 

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Inhoudsopgave

CHAPTER PAGE I THE DISENCHANTED MAN
3
THE UNATTAINABLE IDEAL
12
AGENTS AND BYSTANDERS
30
WHAT THE PUBLIC DOES
44
THE NEUTRALIZATION OF ARBITRARY FORCE
53
PART II
65
THE QUESTION ARISTOTLE ASKED
67
THE NATURE OF A PROBLEM
71
THE MAIN VALUE OF PUBLIC DEBATE
100
THE DEFECTIVE RULE
105
THE CRITERIA OF REFORM
115
THE PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC OPINION
133
PART III
143
SOCIETY IN ITS PLACE
145
ABSENTEE RULERS
163
THE REALMS OE DISORDER
177

SOCIAL CONTRACTS
85
THE TWO QUESTIONS BEFORE THE PUBLIC
97

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Over de auteur (1993)

Walter Lippmann, an American political journalist, dominated political journalism in the United States from World War I almost until his death. In his last year as a student at Harvard University, he was an assistant to the philosopher George Santayana. He read extensively in Freud and was in every sense an "intellectual" journalist. "His Public Opinion" (1922) became the intellectual anchor for the study of public opinion, and it is widely read today. He came close in this book to questioning whether citizens can possibly make rational, democratic decisions. The source of the difficulty is not our irrationality but the inherent nature of the modern system of mass communication; information must be condensed into brief slogans. These slogans become stereotypes, a concept that Lippmann brilliantly analyzed prior to its acceptance by psychologists. As a political columnist, he wrote on many topics, particularly on foreign relations, and he held a position of prestige in Washington's press corps that has never been matched. Alastair Buchan wrote in 1974 that Walter Lippman was "the name that opened every door.

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