3 Pages


A book with this title, dealing as it does with the political machinery and political education appropriate to a democratic society, might appear to belong to the growing corpus of Marxist, or neo-Marxist, works on education and politics. In one sense, as they say, we are all Marxists now and this essay accepts and uses much of the classical and neoMarxist critique of contemporary capitalist liberal democracies. The theoretical bases of its recommendations for education in a participatory democracy are not Marxist, however, but in the liberal democratic tradition. While I have drawn on the ideas of Marxists like Gramsci and C.B.Macpherson, much more fundamental has been the work of thinkers like Dworkin, Ackerman, Lukes, Giddens, Carole Pateman and Gutmann. It is these radical liberal thinkers, it seems to me, who have gone furthest in clarifying key issues to do with a democratic society, issues like the nature of power, the proper control of economic power, control of the majority’s power and dissent within a democracy.