RE: Reflections and Explorations: A Forum for Deliberative Dialogue
Stephenson, Max O. Jr.
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The essays in this volume treat dimensions of broader trends at all scales of analysis, examining the elemental issue of democratic agency and obstacles to its exercise, the difficulties inherent for self-governance in inter-governmental cooperation and in racial, ethnic and religious diversity and the antagonisms resulting from rapid widespread economic, social and technological shifts. These articles also investigate the dynamics of political change and movements in a time when the prevailing social imaginary makes such action, always difficult, especially tough to achieve. While we have divided the essays into seven sections, as they address a variety of topical concerns at discrete levels of analysis, all may be said to treat in one form or another the consequences for Western liberalism of its embrace of neoliberalism’s elevation of capitalism to a governing role and its view of freedom as atomistic individualism. Adherents have embraced this perspective without acknowledging the daily reality that human beings live in families and societies and that freedom will never be sustained by the pursuit of material goods alone.