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Debating Democracy's DiscontentEssays on American Politics, Law, and Public Philosophy$
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Anita L. Allen and Milton C. Regan

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294964.001.0001

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A Public Philosophy for the Professional‐Managerial Class

A Public Philosophy for the Professional‐Managerial Class

(p.92) 6 A Public Philosophy for the Professional‐Managerial Class
Debating Democracy's Discontent

Mark Tushnet

Oxford University Press

Democracy’s Discontent has been so well received more because it expresses a mood than because it makes an argument. Middle-class professionals and managers are no longer experts offering professional and autonomous advice on how best to steer the economy, but employees subject to the market forces they had believed they controlled. Unsurprisingly, they might be interested in recapturing some control at the expense of some slight reduction in their material well-being, even if the effects on the material well-being of less privileged groups might be more substantial. Our different identities–our cosmopolitanism and our more particular commitments to family, friends, neighbors, nations, ethnic groups, and religious confreres–might sometimes conflict, but a public philosophy that acknowledges the possibility of internal conflicts, and treats such conflicts as an occasion for political deliberation and struggle, might inspire the allegiance that Sandel requires. To exercise effective control over transnational corporate power, people must participate in supranational institutions as democrats, not as Kurds or Quebecois–and, to that extent, as cosmopolitans.

Keywords:   allegiance, autonomy, conflict, control, corporate, cosmopolitan, identities, middle class, mood, professionals

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