Democracy as Associated Learning

in The Lost Promise of Patriotism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226315836
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226315850 | DOI:
Democracy as Associated Learning

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This chapter investigates the thoughts of the cosmopolitan patriots in local contexts. They interpreted American democracy in both moral and material terms in the same way as James construed. As with James, they wanted to replace liberalism's traditional emphasis on negative rights with a positive ideal of social obligation. They went beyond James in describing a model of citizenship akin to what John Dewey called “associated living.” From the perspective of the cosmopolitans, the good democrat is the one who exposes oneself most receptively to strangers; the good society was that which reveled in its diversity, and which compelled every individual. The cosmopolitans' analysis of American society describes a breakdown in democratic reciprocity. The increase in disparity of wealth created corresponding social constriction, as individuals secure in their own private circles began to regard the public with hostility and suspicion.

Keywords: cosmopolitan patriots; thoughts; James; liberalism; associated living; democratic reciprocity

Chapter.  10115 words. 

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