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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 New Public Philosophy

The New Public Philosophy

(p.394) Chapter 22 The New Public Philosophy
Fugitive Democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the Reagan presidency and the dilemma faced by powerful groups that controlled American politics. The dilemma is that the program for change rested upon a public philosophy different from, even antithetical to, the one on which Reagan campaigned. Within a few short months, the new administration initiated a far-reaching program of spending cuts, tax changes, deregulation, and reduced social services that completely turned on its head the campaign rhetoric quoted earlier. “Problems of flesh and blood” were sacrificed to “abstract economic theory,” causing “pain” and destroying “the moral fiber” of real people.

Keywords:   political theory, political philosophy, American politics, Reagan administration

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