Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Brocker I 682
Political Representation/Barber: Barber's thesis: the concept of representation of liberalism destroys participation and citizenship. (1) This is because liberalism misunderstands democracy as a "policy of keeping predators". See also Democracy/Barber.
Brocker I 686
In the various forms of "authoritarian", "juridical" and "pluralistic" democracy, Barber sees fundamental weaknesses in representation. (See Terminology/Barber).
Problem: the "reintroduction of independent reasons" (2): neither elites nor philosophers or judges or leaders of associations can lift the controversy over key political ideas. It is precisely the assumption that there are actors with special access to "good reasons" or even a free play of forces that produces the common good almost automatically that leads to arbitrary rule.
BarberVsDirect Democracy: direct democracy is what Barber calls "unity democracy":
Brocker I 687
This rejects representation in its entirety and replaces it with the consensus of all citizens. According to Barber, it takes on "malicious" characteristics in larger associations at the latest. (3) The reason for this is that community here may no longer be based on voluntary identification and shared norms, but only on repression and manipulation.
Solution/Barber: "Strong democracy" (see Democracy/Barber): here conflicts are subjected to an "endless process of consultation, decision and action". (4)


1. Benjamin Barber, Strong Democary, Participatory Politics for a New Age, Berkeley CA, 1984, Dt. Benjamin Barber, Starke Demokratie. Über die Teilhabe am Politischen, Hamburg 1994, S. 13.
2. Ebenda S. 138
3. Ebenda S. 144
4. Ebenda S. 147.

Michael Haus, „Benjamin Barber, Starke Demokratie“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

PolBarb I
Benjamin Barber
The Truth of Power. Intellectual Affairs in the Clinton White House New York 2001

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-04-24
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