In this brief but powerful book, acclaimed political philosopher C.B. Macpherson sets out in bold relief the essence of liberal democracy, both as it is currently conceived and as it might be reimagined. Macpherson argues that from its beginnings liberal democracy has accepted the underpinning principle of capitalist societies, that the "market maketh man." If that remains the central assumption of liberal democracy, Macpherson declares, then as an organizing framework for society, liberal democracy has reached the end of its useful life. But if a broader concept of liberal democracy is accepted-"if [Macpherson writes] liberal democracy is taken to mean a society striving to ensure that all its members are equally free to realize their capabilities"-the great days of liberal democracy may yet lie ahead. The Wynford edition includes a new Introduction by Frank Cunningham of the University of Toronto.
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C.B. Macpherson (1911-1987) was professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Widely regarded as Canada's pre-eminent political theorist of the twentieth century, he was the author of numerous books, including Democratic Theory: Essays in Retrieval and The Real World of Democracy, and was named to the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour.
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