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Jason Stanley

"In his paper, 'The Diversity of Objections to Equality', the philosophy T.M. Scanlon characterizes five "reasons for pursuing rester equality." But none of the reasons involves the tendency inequality has to cause *flawed ideologies*. I will argue that there is a powerful democratic objection to inequality: inequality tends to lead to epistemic barriers to the acquisition of knowledge, ones that imperil democracy. This is not one of the objections to inequality considered by Scanlon, at least not obviously so. But I will argue that it is a traditional democratic objection to inequality, dating back to the Ancient Greeks. It is this objection to inequality that I wish to develop [in this book], using the various tools of philosophy and the human sciences.
Both the view that flawed ideologies is one of the most serious problems for democracy and the view that conditions of inequality engender them are familiar in democratic political philosophy. In Federalist No. 10, James Madison recognizes the problem that inequalities raise for democratic governance. Madison is even clear that material inequality is a central source of flawed ideologies. The point of Federalist No. 10 is to argue that, given the existence and inevitability of what are (in my terminology) flawed ideologies, what Madison calls "pure democracy is impossible. Madison believes a *representative* democracy will provide the requisite safeguards against the illiberal effects of flawed ideology."
-from the introduction to *How Propaganda Works*, "The Problem of Propaganda", pp. 6-7.

Jason Stanley

So if you meant by while "he never quite faces up to the fact that from Madisonian vantage point we should expect a lot more factionalism given the huge disparities of wealth, status, and recognition in our contemporary polity", that "Stanley just wrote a book that begins with Federalist 10 and devotes the subsequent 400 pages to using many of the tools of analytic philosophy to laying out the argument that from a Madisonian vantage point we should expect a lot more factionalism given the huge disparities of wealth, status, and recognition in our contemporary polity", yeah you are right ;-).

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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