Retrieving Democracy (2): Communitarian, Marxist and Feminist Critics

Jules Townshen

in C. B. Macpherson and the Problem of Liberal Democracy

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9781853312137
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671953 | DOI:
Retrieving Democracy (2): Communitarian, Marxist and Feminist Critics

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This chapter shows how Macpherson's communitarian, Marxist and feminist critics saw his project as mired by the other central strand of his thought: liberalism. Perhaps they unwittingly picked upon a danger in his immanent critique of liberalism. This attempted to expose its two contradictory ontologies and suggested that its possessive individualist one was becoming historically played out. He suggested that its ‘retrieved’ Millian, developmental ontology was now a genuine possibility. In adopting this strategy, Macpherson, these critics argued, was seemingly unable to move off the liberal terrain, especially of abstract individualism.

Keywords: C. B. Macpherson; Marx; liberal democratic theory; liberalism

Chapter.  10631 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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