J S P George Mason University I. This essay is about the meaning of democratic politics, starting from our motivations to engage in politics or public life and continuing through to the kind of deliberative and performative practice that makes engagement possible. As for motivations, there are at least two engines that drive our entry into politics. One is a deep desire to be part of something larger than ourselves. The other is a deep desire to make the world better than it is. The first is self-serving, the second, normative. But both converge in the idea that the world is a better place when all who are part of it have a hand in shaping what that world might be, hence increasing their own public happiness and well-being. This idea is the major premise of my argument in this essay. Behind political activity, especially democratic politics, is a desire to belong and to make things better. This premise cannot be proven in any logical manner. It is an observation, the same one that Aristotle made when he claimed that people are political animals: "It is evident from these considerations, then, that a city-state is among the things
The Journal of Speculative Philosophy – Penn State University Press
Published: Apr 15, 2008
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