£14.99 | $26.95
9 December 2010
216mm x 138mm
The Politics of Equality
Jason C. Myers
Why are socialists, communists and social democrats concerned with the distribution of wealth? Why do they place so much importance on public goods such as education and health care? To what extent does democracy matter to socialist ideologies?
In The Politics of Equality, Jason C. Myers sheds new light on questions like this, providing a readable, contemporary introduction to egalitarian political philosophy. Concentrating on ideas and values rather than on the rise and fall of parties and movements, the book offers crucial insights into a vital tradition of political thought and how it is key to our understanding of contemporary debates from Obama's plans for a national health care programme to the recent global wave of economic state regulation.
This is essential reading for anyone interested in constructing a more just society.
'Myers' Politics of Equality is a thoughtful, learned, simply-written attempt to revive a strain of political theory generally considered refuted by events: communism, socialism, social democracy, and related theories of social equality. It is, perhaps, time for such an attempt. No important political theory remains refuted for long - certainly not by events. Myers' contributes to the revival of social-egalitarian theory in three ways: a) by making a strong case for the attractiveness of the ideal (a society of equal freedom); b) by suggesting reasonable means to approach that ideal; and c) perhaps most important, by pointing out how little the events of the last hundred years actually count against either the ideal or the means he suggests. It's a book that should enliven a discussion dead for too long, as good for the classroom as for circulation among thinking classes.' - Michael Davis, Illinois Institute of Technology
'Overuse has made it easy to forget the transformative, everyday makeup of concepts like 'freedom' and 'justice.' But the fabric of modern life (the 8 hour workday; vacations, public schools, sidewalks, safe food and water) is a legislated, created product, no less a result of human design than a building or a city. The Politics of Social Equality offers a readable entry into the history of egalitarian political theories invaluable for students of political science, economics, or anyone interested in how ideas are transformed into politics - and eventually, reality.' - John Bowe, Author of 'Nobodies:Modern Slave Labor in America'
'Jason Myers' The Politics of Equality is insightful, historically informed, and ideologically balanced, a commanding discourse on the theory and practice of democracy.' - Michael Parenti, author of Contrary Notions and God and His Demons
'Jason Myers' The Politics of Equality is that rarity: it covers what had seemed to be familiar territory in a manner that casts new light on it in a strikingly original way. It takes nothing for granted, and launches a broad-ranging, clear-headed reconsideration that is an original and significant contribution to the literature on equality.' - Prof. Paul Thomas, University of California, Berkley
Table of Contents
1. Historical Materialism
2. Equal Freedom
3. Economy and Society
6. The Privation State
About the Author:
Jason C. Myers is Professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is the author of Indirect Rule in South Africa (University of Rochester Press), as well as numerous articles on ideology and political theory.
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