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Discontents of Democracy: Elite Pluralism, Mystification and Rule of Big Capital

  • Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Abstract

Marxist scholars have grappled with the nature of the state and the basis of governance in a society deeply scarred by divisions of class, caste, ethnicity and religious affiliation.1 Democracy as a possible and desirable form of organization of the government of state had been put forward by Rousseau, Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Condorcet and William Godwin. In England, the so-called Philosophical Radicals, Ricardian Socialists, the Chartists and John Stuart Mill added to the literature on democracy. In France and Germany, the work of Alexis de Tocqueville, early socialists such as Louis Blanc and the Fourierists, Moses Hess, and of course, Marx and Engels enriched the understanding of how democracy could and should function. Tocqueville accepted democracy with resignation rather than with enthusiasm, but was nonetheless an insightful pioneer in its conceptualization. The ruling strata in the European countries came to accept some version of democracy as a necessary evil, to be tolerated and even advanced at times in order to appease the discontent of the masses and contain the possibility of their revolt.

Keywords

Civil Society World Trade Organization Ordinary People Authoritarian State Substantive Freedom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amiya Kumar Bagchi

There are no affiliations available

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