Politics by Principle, Not Interest Toward Nondiscriminatory Democracy
The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: Volume XI
Автор(и) : James M. Buchanan
Издател : Liberty Fund
Място на издаване : Indianapolis, USA
Година на издаване : 1999
ISBN : 0-86597-233-8
Брой страници : 216
Език : английски
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“Politics by principle is that which modern politics is not. What we observe is ‘politics by interest,’ whether in the form of explicitly discriminatory treatment (rewarding or punishing) of particular groupings of citizens or of some elitist-dirigiste classification of citizens into the deserving or non-deserving on the basis of a presumed superior wisdom about what is really ‘good’ for us all. The proper principle for politics is that of generalization of generality.”
—James M. Buchanan, from the Preface
In his foreword, Hartmut Kliemt sums up the main objective of James M. Buchanan and Roger Congleton’s Politics by Principle: “Imposing constitutional constraints on majoritarian politics such that a more principled pattern might emerge must be a political aim of high priority for all who wish for free and responsible citizens to live together peacefully as political equals under the rule of general laws. Buchanan and Congleton’s efforts to revive the classical liberal agenda in Politics by Principle, Not Interest are of the greatest interest in that regard. And this interest is not merely a theoretical one.”
As James Buchanan notes in introducing his co-author Roger Congleton, Politics by Principle, Not Interest “embodies the working out and presentation of a single idea…the extension and application of the generality principle to majoritarian politics.” After laying out the theory, Buchanan and Congleton attempt to work it out in practical political reality. Buchanan notes that “it is much easier to discuss the generality principle as an abstract ideal than it is to define the precise conditions for its satisfaction in any particular setting.” Not daunted by the difficulty of the task, the two authors succeed brilliantly in applying the generality principle to the political arena. They are interested not in laying down precise do’s and don’ts for politics, but in pointing out the ideal of nondiscriminatory governance and calling for constitutional constraints on political action so it conforms more closely to the generality norm.
"By analyzing majoritarian politics, the book addresses a problem of major importance for all interested in understanding political processes in democratic societies and/or living in nondiscriminatory societies. Thought provoking and carefully argued, it deserves serious reading and discussion." - Constitutional Political Economy
"This book has more depth, breadth, and importance than some shelves full of work I have looked at. Buchanan and Congleton have managed, in a very short space, to make an argument that is both plausible and revolutionary. Politics by principle, not interest is a new benchmark in the application of public choice reasoning to political theory." - Michael C. Munger, Public Choice
James M. Buchanan
James M. Buchanan (1919-2012) was awarded the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Universally respected as one of the founders of the “public choice” school of economics, he is the author of numerous books and hundreds of articles in the areas of public finance, public choice, constitutional economics and economic philosophy. He is best known for such works as The Calculus of Consent, The Limits of Liberty, The Power to Tax, and The Reason of Rules. Buchanan has devoted himself to the study of the contractual and constitutional basis for the theory of economic and political decision making.
See also at
: the Econlib Concise Encyclopedia of Economics entry on Buchanan