03 January 2010

Book: The Case Against the Democratic State

In 2002, Imprint Academic published Gordon Graham's "The Case Against the Democratic State: An Essay in Cultural Criticism":


Publisher's description: "The history of the last two hundred years is a story of the immense and relentless growth of the State at the expense of other social institutions. We are now so familiar and accepting of the State's pre-eminence in all things, that few think to question it, and most suppose that democratic endorsement legitimizes it. The aim of this essay is to present a sustained and compelling argument against both presumptions. It contends that the gross imbalance of power in the modern State between ruler and ruled is sorely in need of justification, and that democracy simply masks this need with an illusion of popular sovereignty. Although this is an essay in cultural criticism whose argument should be fully accessible to the general reader, it is written from within the European tradition of political philosophy from Plato to Rawls."

Reviews: "Gordon Graham challenges practically the whole of reigning orthodoxy in political philosophy in this remarkable book ... Graham's courage and insight in challenging prevailing dogma deserve great praise." (David Gordon, "The Mises Review")

"In just 93 A5 pages, Graham provides a devastating critique ... This book ought to be read by every student of politics." (Peter Rossi, "Culture Wars")

"An excellent candidate for inclusion on an undergraduate syllabus or on the reading list of anyone wondering what exactly the nearly universal prejudice in favor of democracy is actually base upon." (James R. Otterson, "The Independent Review")

"Graham provides us with some brilliant insights ... whether you are a democrat, an anti-democrat, or somewhat indifferent to the charms of democracy, you will find much to ponder here." (M.A.K. Smith, "Right Now!")

The book is fully searchable on Google Book Search (including table of contents):


Gordon Graham is Henry Luce III Professor of Philosophy and the Arts at Princeton Theological Seminary and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. At the time of writing this book, he was Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen.

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