Published: “Immanent Politics, Participatory Democracy, and the Pursuit of Eudaimonia”

I just had an article published in Libertarian Papers:

Immanent Politics, Participatory Democracy, and the Pursuit of Eudaimonia,” Libertarian Papers 3, 16 (2011).

Here’s the abstract:

This paper builds on the burgeoning tradition of Aristotelian liberalism. It identifies and critiques a fundamental inequality inherent in the nature of the state and, in particular, the liberal representative-democratic state: namely, an institutionalized inequality in authority. The analysis draws on and synthesizes disparate philosophical and political traditions: Aristotle’s virtue ethics and politics, Locke’s natural rights and idea of equality in authority in the state of nature (sans state of nature), the New Left’s conception of participatory democracy (particularly as described in a number of under-utilized essays by Murray Rothbard and Don Lavoie), and philosophical anarchism. The deleterious consequences of this fundamental institutionalized inequality are explored, including on social justice and economic progress, on individual autonomy, on direct and meaningful civic and political participation, and the creation and maintenance of other artificial inequalities as well as the exacerbation of natural inequalities (economic and others). In the process, the paper briefly sketches a neo-Aristotelian theory of virtue ethics and natural individual rights, for which the principle of equal and total liberty for all is of fundamental political importance. And, finally, a non-statist conception of politics is developed, with politics defined as discourse and deliberation between equals (in authority) in joint pursuit of eudaimonia (flourishing, well-being).

Follow the link above for the pdf and MS Word files as well as discussion of the article on the Libertarian Papers website. You can also download the pdf from my Literature archive.

Older versions of this article were presented at the Austrian Scholars Conference 2008 and appeared in my doctoral dissertation (May 2009) as chapters six and seven.

[Cross-posted at Is-Ought GAP.]