"Sage" in American Politics
Examines the necessity of the institutionalization of the "sage" in American political discourse.
# 55357 | 1,357 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2004 |
Published on Jan 27, 2005 in Environmental Studies (Economics and Policy) , Political Science (Political Theory) , Political Science (General) , Philosophy (General) , Public Administration (General)
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Under Plato's system of the rule of the philosopher-sage, the popular will and all knowledge disseminated by the media would be controlled by oligarchs, namely a tribe of philosopher kings or sages. This paper examines Frank Fischer's and Brian Martin's recent analysis of the failures of the American political system, in which they do not offer as radical a solution as the ancient Greek. However, Frank Fischer's analysis does implicitly propose that there is a fundamental lacking within the texture of American government, and American political culture as a whole, in terms of citizen involvement within American political society and decision making. The paper examines Fischer's suggestion that the solution to this absence of involvement is not a more responsive governmental structure, but the institutionalization of the "sage" within the American political frame of discourse, that of an individual who is distanced from the issues to some extent and can offer commentary and intellectual and intelligent perspectives upon issues of the moment and also put the perspective of politics within a forward-thinking view. In contrast, the paper looks at how Martin stresses that, rather than look to experts for knowledge, one must become one's own 'sage'; profound challenges to government and conventional wisdom have been proposed by many relatively ordinary individuals all over the world, from the author's native Australia to India.
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