From secrecy to transparency: Reason of state and democracy.

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  • Author(s): Bodei, Remo
  • Source:
    Philosophy & Social Criticism. Oct2011, Vol. 37 Issue 8, p889-898. 10p.
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      From Machiavelli and Guicciardini to Gracián and Richelieu, secrecy is a defining element in the politics of reasons of state, in the art of simulation and dissimulation. These techniques were considered instrumental in order to procure the very survival of the state in situations of permanent emergency. From politics as a secret art centered on the prince’s cabinet, we move gradually along an historical and theoretical path. From English liberalism that places the parliament at the center of politics and the French Enlightenment that exalted the capacity of reason to enlighten the mind and help humankind to leave the state of minority, we move toward democracy as public knowledge, as a ‘house of glass', exposed to the scrutiny and control of public opinion. It is nonetheless clear that neither the proto-liberal parliament nor the subsequent parliamentary democracies will ever become the ‘houses of glass' that democratic ideologies champion. This is true in the recent decades in which populism and demobilization of masses are changing the essence of democracy. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
    • Abstract:
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