Stanley on Ideology, or How to De-Moralise Democracy

Global Discourse (forthcoming)
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In *How Propaganda Works* Jason Stanley argues that democratic societies require substantial material equality because inequality causes ideologically flawed belief, which, in turn, make demagogic propaganda more effective. And that is problematic for the quality of democracy. In this brief paper I unpack that argument, in order to make two points: (a) the non-moral argument for equality is promising, but weakened by its reliance on a heavily moralised conception of democracy; (b) that problem may be remedied by whole-heartedly embracing a more realistic conception of democracy. That conception is at least compatible with Stanley’s argument, if not implicit in parts of it.

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Enzo Rossi
University of Amsterdam


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