The American Lie: Government by the People and Other Political Fables

The American Lie: Government by the People and Other Political Fables

by Benjamin Ginsberg
     
 

George Washington is fabled to have said, "I cannot tell a lie." But lie he did, and politicians have been lying ever since. Despite assurances to the contrary, politics is not about truth, justice, and principle. It is about money, power, and status. As astute political commentator Ben Ginsberg convincingly shows, politicians pretend to fight for principles in order… See more details below

Overview

George Washington is fabled to have said, "I cannot tell a lie." But lie he did, and politicians have been lying ever since. Despite assurances to the contrary, politics is not about truth, justice, and principle. It is about money, power, and status. As astute political commentator Ben Ginsberg convincingly shows, politicians pretend to fight for principles in order to conceal their true selfish motives. Thus, in this new political season, Ginsberg encourages citizens to think outside the ballot box, finding new ways to act on behalf of their interests and the public good. But if they do vote, their motto should be when in doubt vote them out." The elections of 2008 are a good time to begin.

About the Author:
Benjamin Ginsberg is the David Bernstein Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Study of American Government at Johns Hopkins University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594514128
Publisher:
Paradigm Publishers
Publication date:
07/28/2007
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1. Interests and Principles in Political Life
The Principles of Cynical Realism
Altruism and Interests
Interests and Principles
Principles as Political Weapons
Becoming Realistically Cynical

2. Public Opinion: Myths and Realities
Advertising
Publicity
Measuring Opinion

3. Elections and the Limits of Popular Government
Voting as a Means of Regulating
Popular Political Activity
The Limits of Voting
Political Marketing

4. Private Interests and Public Policies
Mobilization Bias
Organizational Bias
Private Capture
Pathologies of Government

5. Popular Influence and State Power
Who Governs?
Delegation of Power
Presidential Power
The Citizen and the State

6. Conclusion: Why Participate in Politics?
The Myth of Political Leadership
Public Lies and Private Purposes
State Secrets
Practicing Defensive Politics

Notes
Index
About the Author

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