New PDF release: The Phantom Public

By Walter Lippmann

ISBN-10: 1560006773

ISBN-13: 9781560006770

In an period disgusted with politicians and some of the tools of "direct democracy," Walter Lippmann's The Phantom Public remains as appropriate as ever. It finds Lippmann at a time whilst he was once most important of the ills of yankee democracy. Antipopulist in sentiment, this quantity defends elitism as a significant and specific highbrow choice, one with significant precursors within the American prior. Lippmann's demythologized view of the yank procedure of presidency resonates today.

The Phantom Public discusses the "disenchanted guy" who has develop into upset not just with democracy, but in addition with reform. in accordance with Lippmann, the common voter is incapable of governance; what's known as the general public is in basic terms a "phantom." by way of policy-making, the excellence shouldn't be specialists as opposed to amateurs, yet insiders as opposed to outsiders. Lippmann demanding situations the middle assumption of revolutionary politics in addition to any idea that pretends to go away political determination making within the fingers of the folks as a whole.

In his biography Walter Lippmann and the yankee Century, Ronald metal praised The Phantom Public as "one of Lippmann's such a lot powerfully argued and revealing books. In it he got here totally to phrases with the inadequacy of conventional democratic theory." This quantity is a part of a continuous sequence at the significant works of Walter Lippmann. As an increasing number of american citizens are likely to develop into apathetic to the political process, this vintage can be crucial studying for college students, lecturers, and researchers of political technology and history.

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Lippmann was willing to adapt and even sacrifice many of his cherished beliefs in the course of his life. But his skeptical view of popular democracy was not one of them. Such stubborn "elitism" may be precisely why we ought to continue to read him in the years to come. In an era pervasively disgusted with politicians, and entranced by public-opinion polling, initiatives, referenda, and the interactive gadgetry of "direct democracy," the fundamental contention at the core of The Phantom Public remains as stubbornly and painfully relevant as ever: that "public opinion" does not, and simply cannot, rule a nation or propound its policy, but may merely choose between alternatives propounded and proposed by competing elites.

In that task he must not assume that the mass has political genius, but that men, even if they had genius, would give only a little time and attention to public affairs.

They say they should be taught whatever may be necessary to fit them to govern the modern world. The usual appeal to education can bring only disappointment. For the problems of the modern world appear and change faster than any set of teachers can grasp them, much faster than they can convey their substance to a population of children. If the schools attempt to teach children how to solve the problems of the day, they are bound always to be in arrears. The most they can conceivably attempt is the teaching of a pattern of thought and feeling which will enable the citizen to approach a new problem in some useful fashion.

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The Phantom Public by Walter Lippmann


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