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In Civil Rights and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy, Bradley Watson demonstrates the paradox of liberal democracy: that its cornerstone principles of equality and freedom are principles inherently directed toward undermining it. Modernity, beyond bringing definition to political equality, unleashed a whirlwind of individualism, which feeds the soul's basic impulse to rule without limitationincluding the limitation of consent. Here Watson begins his analysis of the foundations of liberalism, looking carefully and critically at the moral and political philosophies that justify modern civil rights litigation. He goes on to examine the judicial manifestations of the paradox of liberal democracy, seeking to bring a broad philosophical coherence to legal decision making in the United States and Canada. Finally, Watson illuminates the extent to which this decision making is in tension with liberal democracy, and outlines proposals for reform.
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About the Author
Bradley C. S. Watson is Associate Professor of Political Science and Fellow in Politics and Culture at the Center for Economic and Policy Education at Saint Vincent College.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Question is not how good Watson's book is, but rather the question should be 'why haven't you read it yet?' This book embodies all that is good and pure about both political and philosophical analysis. Through a tour de force of modern philosophy, Watson ingeniously explains the philosophical underpinnings of modern American thought, i.e. 'self- expressive' individualism. If this were not enough, Watson takes this abstract philosophical disposition and applies it to practical America; particularly the American judicial system. To give his political manifestio a twist that only he gould provide, Watson even goes as far as to compare the modern Canadian judicial system, which has essentially bent to the will of modern American legal activism, to prove his point (his point being that 'self- expressive' individualism, the greatest threat to democracy, necessarily sprouts from democracy itself. Civil Rights and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy is truly a work of art for anyone who wishes to exercise thier brain beyond Oprah's book of the month club. And for all you kids out there, don't read Harry Potter, read Brad Watson! If you do not indulge yourself in such a truly stimulating book (that works on both the simple- minded moron and intellectual who thinks that they are smart levels) you have truly wasted at least some small portion of your existance.