Prometheus Unbound: Populism, The Property Question, and Social Invention gerald tayl o r Introduction Human spontaneity and the power generated by cooperation should be exercised within the bounds of what Melville called “lasting institutions,” within a public space guarded by constitutional arrangements upheld by the public commitments of citizen This i s. s the foundational premise of a new populism. This article begins with the history and culture that emerged by a radi- cal redistribution of productive real estate to millions of citizens, initiated and carried out by the newly emerging republican governments at all levels. This redistribution imprinted what I call a property-owning consciousness into the body politic which, in turn, helped to shape civic understandings of liberty, opportunity, freedom, and independence. It also explores the rupturing of this relationship to productive property brought about by the constellations of a new economic revolution. New inventions suc-h as cor porations and financial markets in the economic life of ninetcen een tt ur h y United States disrupted long term institutions, existing cultural patterns, power relationships, legal frameworks, and existing patterns of land hold- ings. Over time, these new organizational experiments congealed and dom- inated the economic and political landscape
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Jan 3, 2012
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