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Fugitive DemocracyAnd Other Essays$
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Sheldon S. Wolin and Nicholas Xenos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.001.0001

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The People’s Two Bodies

The People’s Two Bodies

(p.379) Chapter 21 The People’s Two Bodies
Fugitive Democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Princeton University Press

In the span of a few short years, as Americans have watched the visible deterioration of their nation's power at home and abroad, they have experienced something unknown to American history since the early nineteenth century: a sense of collective vulnerability. Perhaps the clearest proof of the widespread perception of powerlessness is in the eagerness with which virtually all segments of the American public have supported the extraordinary increases in defense spending over the past decade. This chapter asks, what does it mean for America to ground its collective existence upon the type of power embodied in a highly advanced economy whose destructive effects upon nature, society, and the human body and psyche are documented daily with depressing regularity? The question is about political identity, about who Americans are as a people.

Keywords:   political theory, political identity, power, Americans, defense spending

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