Monday 11 June 2007

Republicanism: an idea whose time has come?

Following on from my last post - and Jonathan Freedland's suggestion that Britain needs a republican revolution before we can be sort out what we mean by 'Britishness' - I see that Stuart White is suggesting (in the latest Renewal) that republicanism may be the Left's 'big idea'. Though not starry-eyed about the history of actually existing republics, White argues that:

an adequate social democratic philosophy of the state should incorporate some basic republican ideas. These include the value of procedural goods in political life; the need for a wide participation of citizens in public decision-making; the importance of attending to inequality of wealth (as well as income); and a way of thinking about national identity based on republican values rather than ethnicity, religion or imperial history...the idea of grounding social democracy in a republican conception of citizenship and the state is one we urgently need to rehabilitate.

Amen to that.

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