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The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy…
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The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy (Opus Books)

by C. B. Macpherson

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Crawford Brough Macpherson O.C. M.Sc. D. Sc. (18 November 1911 – 22 July 1987) was an influential Canadian political scientist who taught political theory at the University of Toronto who analyzes the foundations of liberal democracy, beginning with the utilitarianism of James Mill and Jeremy Bentham, then to the more familiar and less chilling John Stuart Mill. Like many today, they pitied the laboring classes and the poor and felt that they should be "elevated" through social interventions, but they also believed in the value of the rich keeping and investing whatever they had, although their theories would appear argue otherwise. This early (lat 70s) and superficial study of the liberal theories offers one of the two most often-cited theorists of participatory democracy.

Macpherson traces the background of current liberal-democratic theory, explains how the concept of democracy became both embedded in the shifting ideas of social equality and increasingly dependent on the mechanism of capitalism, and points forward towards a more participatory democracy. He questions widely-cited historical beliefs about early American Congregationalist Puritanism (cf. Perry Miller) and US President Thomas Jefferson of Virginia and New England's Henry David Thoreau as "liberal democrats" by trying to trace liberal democratic theory back to utilitarian Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill's father, James Mill (born on 6 April 1773, of whom JS Mill as his first-born son). The family's name had changed there from Milne to Mill. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/james-mill/ ( )
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