A blupete Essay

The People, Part 9 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Democracy"

I now deal with the concept, "the people": and, in particular Burke's notion that it consists of not just the aggregate of living persons, but; "those that are dead and those who are to be born."
"That is why young men die in battle for their country's sake and why old men plant trees they will never sit under. ... This invisible, inaudible, and so largely nonexistent community gives rational meaning to the necessary objectives of government. If we deny it, identifying the people with the prevailing pluralities who vote in order to serve, as Bentham has it, "their pleasures and their security," where and what is the nation, and whose duty and business is it to defend the public interest? Bentham leaves us with the state as an arena in which factions contend for their immediate advantage in the struggle for survival and domination. Without the invisible and transcendent community to bind them, why should they care for posterity? And why should posterity care about them, and about their treaties and their contracts, their commitments and their promises. Yet without these engagements to the future, they could not live and work; without these engagements the fabric of society is unraveled and shredded." (Lippmann, Op. cit., p. 36.)
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2011