A Public Philosophy for the Professional‐Managerial Class

Mark Tushnet

in Debating Democracy's Discontent

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294962
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598708 | DOI:
 A Public Philosophy for the Professional‐Managerial Class

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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

Chapter.  3064 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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