ON-Lion Letter
The chief merit of the political system of contemporary democracies is that it provides the political goods -- such as liberty, toleration, justice, property, and equality -- we need for our well-being.  Politics involves never-ending disagreements about how to resolve unavoidable conflicts among these and other goods, and the art of politics is to find, again and again, optimal resolutions to these disagreements.
In Encounter Books' new The Art of Politics:  The New Betrayal of America and How to Resist It, John Kekes explains how ideologues, have strayed from this fundamental philosophy, believing that their understanding of the political goods -- whatever that may be -- is the only correct one.  From Marxists to Fascists and Islamists, ideologues cope with political disputes by violently defending their rigid beliefs.

The Art of Politics' refreshing meditation on the nature of political affairs proves that this is a dangerous and unproductive mistake.  Kekes reveals that the stifling state of politics in the world’s democracies is not fundamentally a product the left-right, liberal-conservative divide, but a battle between unbending ideologues and their opponents.  The Art of Politics is a case for political toleration and a caution against the inflexibility of ideology.

Kekes is the author of more than a dozen books on moral philosophy, political philosophy, and epistemology, including A Case for Conservatism, Against Liberalism, and The Illusions of Egalitarianism.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.
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