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Edited by Marta Sinclair

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Andrew Oswald

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Constant D. Beugré

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Constant D. Beugré

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Constant D. Beugré

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Constant D. Beugré

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Budgeting and public debt within a system of cooperative democracy

An Illusion of Democratic Political Economy

Giuseppe Eusepi and Richard E. Wagner

This chapter establishes an analytical benchmark of a democratic system in which political outcomes reflect genuine consensus among the participants. This benchmark traces to Antonio de Viti de Marco’s construction of contrasting models of democratic action. The theory of a wholly cooperative democratic regime provides a benchmark against which to examine actual democratic processes and arrangements. In this respect, and looking ahead, de Viti recognized that democratic regimes were not passive reflectors of individual preference orderings because they entailed relationships of domination and subordination.

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Engines, ecologies and economic systems

An Illusion of Democratic Political Economy

Giuseppe Eusepi and Richard E. Wagner

This chapter asks the reader to think whether an economy in its entirety is better construed as an engine or as an ecological system. By treating it as an engine, economists can pretend to be mechanics. Once an economy is recognized to be a complex ecological system, the mythology of global governance gives way to the reality of multiple sources of local governance. For democracies, there is no person who can reasonably be described as making choices for the regime. Instead, choices emerge out of processes of interaction among collections of people.

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Giuseppe Eusepi and Richard E. Wagner

The book’s theme is an elaboration and refinement of the early-twentieth century orientation toward public debt that Antonio de Viti de Marco set forth. As the book’s title asserts, public debt is a misnomer for a democratic scheme of political economy. To declare a democratic polity to be indebted is akin to observing a grin without a cat, to recall Dennis Robertson’s view of Keynes’s liquidity preference theory. While the entire book develops this claim, this chapter explains how standard macro theories of various types are more myth than reality, and with the mythology obscuring the realities of the domination-subordination relationships that suffuse democratic regimes.

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Giuseppe Eusepi and Richard E. Wagner

This chapter explores how public debt is a troubling practice for republican and democratic regimes because of its ability to corrupt the language and practice of political economy. For instance, the idea of contract is a perfectly good and sensible concept to apply to the private ordering of economic interaction. When that term is extended to public ordering outside the hypothetical construction of a cooperative state, it becomes a piece of ideology that obscures the role of public debt in promoting the interests of politically dominant groups within society.