The world-renowned philosopher and author of the bestselling Justice explores the central question of our time: What has become of the common good? These are dangerous times for democracy. We live in an age of winners and losers, where the odds are stacked in favor of the already fortunate. Stalled social mobility and entrenched inequality give the lie to the American credo that "you can make it if you try". The consequence is a brew of anger and frustration that has fueled populist protest and extreme polarization, and led to deep distrust of both government and our fellow citizens--leaving us morally unprepared to face the profound challenges of our time. World-renowned philosopher Michael J. Sandel argues that to overcome the crises that are upending our world, we must rethink the attitudes toward success and failure that have accompanied globalization and rising inequality. Sandel shows the hubris a meritocracy generates among the winners and the harsh judgement it imposes on those left behind, and traces the dire consequences across a wide swath of American life. He offers an alternative way of thinking about success--more attentive to the role of luck in human affairs, more conducive to an ethic of humility and solidarity, and more affirming of the dignity of work. The Tyranny of Merit points us toward a hopeful vision of a new politics of the common good.

Author Michael J. Sandel
Isbn 0374720991
Genre Political Science
Year 2020-09-15
Pages 288
Language English
File format PDF

In Michael Sandel the Chinese have found a guide through the ethical dilemmas created by their swift embrace of a market economy—one whose communitarian ideas resonate with China’s own rich, ancient philosophical traditions. This volume explores the connections and tensions revealed in this unlikely episode of Chinese engagement with the West.

Author Michael J. Sandel
Isbn 0674983351
Genre Philosophy
Year 2018-01-08
Pages 284
Language English
File format PDF

Thomas Sowell's classic analysis of the opposing visions behind today's ethical and ideological disputes Controversies in politics arise from many sources, but the conflicts that endure for generations or centuries show a remarkably consistent pattern. This revised edition of a classic analyzes the centuries-long debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power. It distinguishes between those with the "constrained" vision, which sees human nature as enduring and self-centered, and the "unconstrained" vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. A Conflict of Visions offers a compelling case that these opposing visions are behind the ethical and ideological disputes of yesterday and today.

Author Thomas Sowell
Isbn 0465004660
Genre Philosophy
Year 2007-06-05
Pages 352
Language English
File format PDF

*A New York Times Bestseller* An important overview of the way our justice system works, and why the rule of law is essential to our survival as a society—from the one-time federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, and host of the Doing Justice podcast. Preet Bharara has spent much of his life examining our legal system, pushing to make it better, and prosecuting those looking to subvert it. Bharara believes in our system and knows it must be protected, but to do so, he argues, we must also acknowledge and allow for flaws both in our justice system and in human nature. Bharara uses the many illustrative anecdotes and case histories from his storied, formidable career—the successes as well as the failures—to shed light on the realities of the legal system and the consequences of taking action. Inspiring and inspiringly written, Doing Justice gives us hope that rational and objective fact-based thinking, combined with compassion, can help us achieve truth and justice in our daily lives. Sometimes poignant and sometimes controversial, Bharara's expose is a thought-provoking, entertaining book about the need to find the humanity in our legal system as well as in our society.

Author Preet Bharara
Isbn 0525521135
Genre Political Science
Year 2019-03-19
Pages 368
Language English
File format PDF

Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we allow corporations to pay for the right to pollute the atmosphere? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars? Auctioning admission to elite universities? Selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay? In What Money Can't Buy, Michael J. Sandel takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don't belong? What are the moral limits of markets? In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life—medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. Is this where we want to be?In his New York Times bestseller Justice, Sandel showed himself to be a master at illuminating, with clarity and verve, the hard moral questions we confront in our everyday lives. Now, in What Money Can't Buy, he provokes an essential discussion that we, in our market-driven age, need to have: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society—and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets don't honor and that money can't buy?

Author Michael J. Sandel
Isbn 1429942584
Genre Philosophy
Year 2012-04-24
Pages 256
Language English
File format PDF

A fresh and bold argument for revamping our standards of “merit” and a clear blueprint for creating collaborative education models that strengthen our democracy rather than privileging individual elites Standing on the foundations of America’s promise of equal opportunity, our universities purport to serve as engines of social mobility and practitioners of democracy. But as acclaimed scholar and pioneering civil rights advocate Lani Guinier argues, the merit systems that dictate the admissions practices of these institutions are functioning to select and privilege elite individuals rather than create learning communities geared to advance democratic societies. Having studied and taught at schools such as Harvard University, Yale Law School, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Guinier has spent years examining the experiences of ethnic minorities and of women at the nation’s top institutions of higher education, and here she lays bare the practices that impede the stated missions of these schools. Goaded on by a contemporary culture that establishes value through ranking and sorting, universities assess applicants using the vocabulary of private, highly individualized merit. As a result of private merit standards and ever-increasing tuitions, our colleges and universities increasingly are failing in their mission to provide educational opportunity and to prepare students for productive and engaged citizenship. To reclaim higher education as a cornerstone of democracy, Guinier argues that institutions of higher learning must focus on admitting and educating a class of students who will be critical thinkers, active citizens, and publicly spirited leaders. Guinier presents a plan for considering “democratic merit,” a system that measures the success of higher education not by the personal qualities of the students who enter but by the work and service performed by the graduates who leave. Guinier goes on to offer vivid examples of communities that have developed effective learning strategies based not on an individual’s “merit” but on the collaborative strength of a group, learning and working together, supporting members, and evolving into powerful collectives. Examples are taken from across the country and include a wide range of approaches, each innovative and effective. Guinier argues for reformation, not only of the very premises of admissions practices but of the shape of higher education itself. From the Hardcover edition.

Author Lani Guinier
Isbn 0807006289
Genre Social Science
Year 2015-01-13
Pages 176
Language English
File format PDF

Despite the success of American life in the last half-century—unprecedented affluence, greater social justice for women and minorities, the end of the Cold War—our politics is rife with discontent. Americans are frustrated with government. We fear we are losing control of the forces that govern our lives, and that the moral fabric of community—from neighborhood to nation—is unraveling around us. What ails democracy in America today, and what can be done about it? Democracy’s Discontent traces our political predicament to a defect in the public philosophy by which we live. In a searching account of current controversies over the role of government, the scope of rights and entitlements, and the place of morality in politics, Michael Sandel identifies the dominant public philosophy of our time and finds it flawed. The defect, Sandel maintains, lies in the impoverished vision of citizenship and community shared by Democrats and Republicans alike. American politics has lost its civic voice, leaving both liberals and conservatives unable to inspire the sense of community and civic engagement that self-government requires. In search of a public philosophy adequate to our time, Sandel ranges across the American political experience, recalling the arguments of Jefferson and Hamilton, Lincoln and Douglas, Holmes and Brandeis, FDR and Reagan. He relates epic debates over slavery and industrial capitalism to contemporary controversies over the welfare state, religion, abortion, gay rights, and hate speech. Democracy’s Discontent provides a new interpretation of the American political and constitutional tradition that offers hope of rejuvenating our civic life.

Author Michael J. Sandel
Isbn 0674736389
Genre Philosophy
Year 1998-02-06
Pages 432
Language English
File format PDF

A revolutionary new argument from eminent Yale Law professor Daniel Markovits attacking the false promise of meritocracy It is an axiom of American life that advantage should be earned through ability and effort. Even as the country divides itself at every turn, the meritocratic ideal – that social and economic rewards should follow achievement rather than breeding – reigns supreme. Both Democrats and Republicans insistently repeat meritocratic notions. Meritocracy cuts to the heart of who we are. It sustains the American dream. But what if, both up and down the social ladder, meritocracy is a sham? Today, meritocracy has become exactly what it was conceived to resist: a mechanism for the concentration and dynastic transmission of wealth and privilege across generations. Upward mobility has become a fantasy, and the embattled middle classes are now more likely to sink into the working poor than to rise into the professional elite. At the same time, meritocracy now ensnares even those who manage to claw their way to the top, requiring rich adults to work with crushing intensity, exploiting their expensive educations in order to extract a return. All this is not the result of deviations or retreats from meritocracy but rather stems directly from meritocracy’s successes. This is the radical argument that Daniel Markovits prosecutes with rare force. Markovits is well placed to expose the sham of meritocracy. Having spent his life at elite universities, he knows from the inside the corrosive system we are trapped within. Markovits also knows that, if we understand that meritocratic inequality produces near-universal harm, we can cure it. When The Meritocracy Trap reveals the inner workings of the meritocratic machine, it also illuminates the first steps outward, towards a new world that might once again afford dignity and prosperity to the American people.

Author Daniel Markovits
Isbn 0735222002
Genre Social Science
Year 2019-09-10
Pages 448
Language English
File format PDF

Leftist firebrand Fredrik deBoer exposes the lie at the heart of our educational system and demands top-to-bottom reform. Everyone agrees that education is the key to creating a more just and equal world, and that our schools are broken and failing. Proposed reforms variously target incompetent teachers, corrupt union practices, or outdated curricula, but no one acknowledges a scientifically-proven fact that we all understand intuitively: academic potential varies between individuals, and cannot be dramatically improved. In The Cult of Smart, educator and outspoken leftist Fredrik deBoer exposes this omission as the central flaw of our entire society, which has created and perpetuated an unjust class structure based on intellectual ability. Since cognitive talent varies from person to person, our education system can never create equal opportunity for all. Instead, it teaches our children that hierarchy and competition are natural, and that human value should be based on intelligence. These ideas are counter to everything that the left believes, but until they acknowledge the existence of individual cognitive differences, progressives remain complicit in keeping the status quo in place. This passionate, voice-driven manifesto demands that we embrace a new goal for education: equality of outcomes. We must create a world that has a place for everyone, not just the academically talented. But we’ll never achieve this dream until the Cult of Smart is destroyed.

Author Fredrik deBoer
Isbn 1250200385
Genre Education
Year 2020-08-04
Pages 272
Language English
File format PDF

Breakthroughs in genetics present us with a promise and a predicament. The promise is that we will soon be able to treat and prevent a host of debilitating diseases. The predicament is that our newfound genetic knowledge may enable us to manipulate our nature—to enhance our genetic traits and those of our children. Although most people find at least some forms of genetic engineering disquieting, it is not easy to articulate why. What is wrong with re-engineering our nature? The Case against Perfection explores these and other moral quandaries connected with the quest to perfect ourselves and our children. Michael Sandel argues that the pursuit of perfection is flawed for reasons that go beyond safety and fairness. The drive to enhance human nature through genetic technologies is objectionable because it represents a bid for mastery and dominion that fails to appreciate the gifted character of human powers and achievements. Carrying us beyond familiar terms of political discourse, this book contends that the genetic revolution will change the way philosophers discuss ethics and will force spiritual questions back onto the political agenda. In order to grapple with the ethics of enhancement, we need to confront questions largely lost from view in the modern world. Since these questions verge on theology, modern philosophers and political theorists tend to shrink from them. But our new powers of biotechnology make these questions unavoidable. Addressing them is the task of this book, by one of America’s preeminent moral and political thinkers.

Author Michael J Sandel
Isbn 0674043065
Genre Philosophy
Year 2009-06-30
Pages 176
Language English
File format PDF

In this "bracingly iconoclastic” book (New York Times Book Review), a renowned economics scholar breaks down the fight to end global poverty and the rights that poor individuals have had taken away for generations. In The Tyranny of Experts, renowned economist William Easterly examines our failing efforts to fight global poverty, and argues that the "expert approved" top-down approach to development has not only made little lasting progress, but has proven a convenient rationale for decades of human rights violations perpetrated by colonialists, postcolonial dictators, and US and UK foreign policymakers seeking autocratic allies. Demonstrating how our traditional antipoverty tactics have both trampled the freedom of the world's poor and suppressed a vital debate about alternative approaches to solving poverty, Easterly presents a devastating critique of the blighted record of authoritarian development. In this masterful work, Easterly reveals the fundamental errors inherent in our traditional approach and offers new principles for Western agencies and developing countries alike: principles that, because they are predicated on respect for the rights of poor people, have the power to end global poverty once and for all.

Author William Easterly
Isbn 0465080901
Genre Political Science
Year 2014-03-04
Pages 416
Language English
File format PDF

What are our obligations to others as people in a free society? Should government tax the rich to help the poor? Is the free market fair? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth? Is killing sometimes morally required? Is it possible, or desirable, to legislate morality? Do individual rights and the common good conflict? Michael J. Sandel's "Justice" course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. Up to a thousand students pack the campus theater to hear Sandel relate the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of the day, and this fall, public television will air a series based on the course. Justice offers readers the same exhilarating journey that captivates Harvard students. This book is a searching, lyrical exploration of the meaning of justice, one that invites readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways. Affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, patriotism and dissent, the moral limits of markets—Sandel dramatizes the challenge of thinking through these con?icts, and shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well. Justice is lively, thought-provoking, and wise—an essential new addition to the small shelf of books that speak convincingly to the hard questions of our civic life.

Author Michael J. Sandel
Isbn 9781429952682
Genre Philosophy
Year 2009-09-15
Pages 320
Language English
File format PDF

In Advancing the Common Good, stories of prominent reformers fighting for the Common Good will inspire concerned readers and voters and help them recognize which actions and proposals will substantially elevate the happiness and well-being of citizens. Describes how today's society is in a state of "durable disorder," with a rise in authoritarian leaders and a decline in the number of democracies around the world Highlights the role of the Common Good, and supplies readers with a guide to fortifying democratic values and supporting and creating organizations that pursue a better vision of the world Stresses how authoritarian leaders abandon the basic agreements of civil and human rights and the rule of law, breaking up long-standing agreements and values that provided a coherent philosophy and outlook for their nation Addresses the loss of common values and the meeting of community needs through goodwill organizations and movements, as well as legislation intended to protect and enhance common values Looks to past movements for inspiration, drawing upon how leaders such as Martin Luther King and U.S. presidents including Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama fought racism and oppression with action and public policy

Author Philip Kotler
Isbn 1440872457
Genre Business & Economics
Year 2019-09-30
Pages 176
Language English
File format PDF

How the obsession with quantifying human performance threatens business, medicine, education, government—and the quality of our lives Today, organizations of all kinds are ruled by the belief that the path to success is quantifying human performance, publicizing the results, and dividing up the rewards based on the numbers. But in our zeal to instill the evaluation process with scientific rigor, we've gone from measuring performance to fixating on measuring itself—and this tyranny of metrics now threatens the quality of our organizations and lives. In this brief, accessible, and powerful book, Jerry Muller uncovers the damage metrics are causing and shows how we can begin to fix the problem. Filled with examples from business, medicine, education, government, and other fields, the book explains why paying for measured performance doesn't work, why surgical scorecards may increase deaths, and much more. But Muller also shows that, when used as a complement to judgment based on personal experience, metrics can be beneficial, and he includes an invaluable checklist of when and how to use them. The result is an essential corrective to a harmful trend that increasingly affects us all.

Author Jerry Z. Muller
Isbn 0691191263
Genre Business & Economics
Year 2019-04-30
Pages 220
Language English
File format PDF

This book is designed as a timely analysis of the rise of post-modern conservatism in many Western countries across the globe. It provides a theoretical overview of post-modernism, why post-modern conservatism emerged, what distinguishes it from other variants of conservatism and differing political doctrines, and how post-modern conservatism governs in practice. First developing a unique genealogy of conservative thought, arguing that the historicist and irrationalist strains of conservatism were ripe for mutation into post-modern form under the right social and cultural conditions, then providing a new unique theoretical framework to describe the conditions for the emergence of post-modern conservatism, The Rise of Post-modern Conservatism applies its theoretical framework to a concrete analysis of the politics of the day. Ultimately, it aims to help us understand the emergence and rise of identity oriented alt right movements and their “populist” spokesmen particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Poland, and now Italy.

Author Matthew McManus
Isbn 3030246825
Genre Political Science
Year 2019-08-29
Pages 255
Language English
File format PDF

In liberal democracies committed to tolerating diversity as well as disagreement, the loss of civility in the public sphere seems critical. But is civility really a virtue, or a demand for conformity that silences dissent? Teresa Bejan looks at early modern debates about religious toleration for answers about what a civil society should look like.

Author Teresa M. Bejan
Isbn 0674972740
Genre Philosophy
Year 2017-01-02
Pages 260
Language English
File format PDF

Liberalism is the political philosophy of equal persons - yet liberalism has refused equality to those it saw as sub-persons. Liberalism is the creed of fairness - yet liberalism has been complicit with European imperialism and African slavery. Liberalism is the classic ideology of Enlightenment and political transparency - yet liberalism has cast a dark veil over its actual racist past and present. In sum, liberalism's promise of equal rights has historically been denied to blacks and other people of color. In Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism, political philosopher Charles Mills challenges mainstream accounts that ignore this history and its current legacy in self-conceived liberal polities today. Mills argues that rather than bracket as an anomaly the role of racism in the development of liberal theory, we should see it as shaping that theory in fundamental ways. As feminists have urged us to see the dominant form of liberalism as a patriarchal liberalism, so too Mills suggests we should see it as a racialized liberalism. It is unsurprising, then, if contemporary liberalism has yet to deliver on the recognition of black rights and the correction of white wrongs. These essays look at racial liberalism, past and present: "white ignorance" as a guilty ignoring of social reality that facilitates white racial domination; Immanuel Kant's role as the most important liberal theorist of both personhood and sub-personhood; the centrality of racial exploitation in the United States; and the evasion of white supremacy in John Rawls's "ideal theory" framing of social justice and in the work of most other contemporary white political philosophers. Nonetheless, Mills still believes that a deracialized liberalism is both possible and desirable. He concludes by calling on progressives to "Occupy liberalism!" and develop accordingly a radical liberalism aimed at achieving racial justice.

Author Charles W. Mills
Isbn 0190245441
Genre Political Science
Year 2017-03-01
Pages 352
Language English
File format PDF

'The book everyone's talking about' The Times (Book of the Year) 'Titania McGrath is a genius' Spectator (Book of the Year) 'Beautiful classic satire' Ricky Gervais 'Hilarious . . . the most artful form of subtle parody' Joe Rogan 'Just as Bridget Jones was the embodiment of the anxiety-ridden Nineties feminist, a creation whose diary entries encapsulated all our hopes, fears and failures, so Titania McGrath is her millennial successor, a girl every bit as lost and confused, every bit as accurately observed - and equally, catastrophically, hilarious.' Sarah Vine, Daily Mail In Woke, Titania McGrath demonstrates how everybody can play their part in the pursuit of social justice. As a millennial icon on the forefront of online activism, Titania is uniquely placed to guide her readers through the often bewildering array of terminology and concepts that constitute twenty-first-century 'wokeness'. These new ideas often leave the general public bemused, particularly if they don't read the Guardian. Being woke is actually much easier than people think. As Titania demonstrates, anyone can be an activist. By simply adding a rainbow flag to your Facebook profile, or calling out an elderly person who doesn't understand what 'non-binary' means, you can change the world for the better. Indeed, social media has now made it possible to show how virtuous you are without having to do anything at all. Timely and indispensable, Titania's step-by-step guide will help you to become the woke person you need to be in an increasingly progressive world. In a non-patronising manner, Titania will explain why you are wrong about everything and how to become more like her.

Author Titania McGrath
Isbn 1472130839
Genre Humor
Year 2019-03-07
Pages 160
Language English
File format PDF

The New York Times-bestselling final book by the beloved, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Tony Horwitz. With Spying on the South, the best-selling author of Confederates in the Attic returns to the South and the Civil War era for an epic adventure on the trail of America's greatest landscape architect. In the 1850s, the young Frederick Law Olmsted was adrift, a restless farmer and dreamer in search of a mission. He found it during an extraordinary journey, as an undercover correspondent in the South for the up-and-coming New York Times. For the Connecticut Yankee, pen name "Yeoman," the South was alien, often hostile territory. Yet Olmsted traveled for 14 months, by horseback, steamboat, and stagecoach, seeking dialogue and common ground. His vivid dispatches about the lives and beliefs of Southerners were revelatory for readers of his day, and Yeoman's remarkable trek also reshaped the American landscape, as Olmsted sought to reform his own society by creating democratic spaces for the uplift of all. The result: Central Park and Olmsted's career as America's first and foremost landscape architect. Tony Horwitz rediscovers Yeoman Olmsted amidst the discord and polarization of our own time. Is America still one country? In search of answers, and his own adventures, Horwitz follows Olmsted's tracks and often his mode of transport (including muleback): through Appalachia, down the Mississippi River, into bayou Louisiana, and across Texas to the contested Mexican borderland. Venturing far off beaten paths, Horwitz uncovers bracing vestiges and strange new mutations of the Cotton Kingdom. Horwitz's intrepid and often hilarious journey through an outsized American landscape is a masterpiece in the tradition of Great Plains, Bad Land, and the author's own classic, Confederates in the Attic.

Author Tony Horwitz
Isbn 110198029X
Genre History
Year 2019-05-14
Pages 512
Language English
File format PDF

An eminent political scientist’s brilliant analysis of economic, social, and political trends over the past century demonstrating how we have gone from an individualistic “I” society to a more communitarian “We” society and then back again, and how we can learn from that experience to become a stronger, more unified nation—from the author of Bowling Alone and Our Kids. Deep and accelerating inequality; unprecedented political polarization; vitriolic public discourse; a fraying social fabric; public and private narcissism—Americans today seem to agree on only one thing: This is the worst of times. But we’ve been here before. During the Gilded Age of the late 1800s, America was highly individualistic, starkly unequal, fiercely polarized, and deeply fragmented, just as it is today. However as the twentieth century opened, America became—slowly, unevenly, but steadily—more egalitarian, more cooperative, more generous; a society on the upswing, more focused on our responsibilities to one another and less focused on our narrower self-interest. Sometime during the 1960s, however, these trends reversed, leaving us in today’s disarray. In a sweeping overview of more than a century of history, drawing on his inimitable combination of statistical analysis and storytelling, Robert Putnam analyzes a remarkable confluence of trends that brought us from an “I” society to a “We” society and then back again. He draws inspiring lessons for our time from an earlier era, when a dedicated group of reformers righted the ship, putting us on a path to becoming a society once again based on community. Engaging, revelatory, and timely, this is Putnam’s most ambitious work yet, a fitting capstone to a brilliant career.

Author Robert D. Putnam
Isbn 1982129166
Genre History
Year 2020-10-13
Pages 480
Language English
File format PDF