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February 16, 2009

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The Democratic Arts

Here’s a pitch: The three great democratic arts are law, education, and journalism. You need skilled practitioners in each, free to do their work openly in the public sphere, in order to have a healthy democracy. Specifically a meritocratic democracy with true social mobility.

I’ve seen the phrase “democratic arts” plenty of times, but never attached to a list like this — though it’s possible I’m unconsciously cribbing it from somewhere. I like these three because, besides being concrete and important, they’re each fun.

Posted February 16, 2009 at 2:04 | Comments (7) | Permasnark
File under: Society/Culture


I'm tempted to add a corresponding triad of "public technologies": planning, police, and public health. But yeah, I'd say you've got it about right.

Although, you forgot to mention musical theater. But maybe the continued importance of the oldest and most revered of all democratic arts (Aeschylus, anyone?) goes without saying.

Ah hahaha. Done and done.

Since when is law fun? The age of Aeschylus, maybe. But now? This is fun?

The law has NEVER been fun. Unless I'm totally misreading Prometheus Bound.

Yeah, but... Matlock! Law & Order! C'mon, it's super-fun. I realize nobody really does "trials" anymore... but when they do! Drama!

You're going with "Matlock" as Exhibit A? Seriously?

Law, education, and journalism as the dramas of democracy, that I can see.

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