Losing Our Democratic Spirit: Congressional Deliberation and the Dictatorship of Propaganda

By Bill Granstaff | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
Tools

Contemporary political science includes no conventional methodology for analyzing the symbolic action known as deliberation. Consequently, we must essentially start from scratch in establishing such a methodology’s reliability and validity. With the previous operational definition of deliberation in mind, the following chapter consists of three sections. The first explains why agitative and dispositional propaganda are antithetical to any deliberative process. We will then discuss logical fallacy, how it relates to both agitative and dispositional propaganda, and how we will utilize logical fallacy as our primary means of determining whether or the extent to which a deliberative discourse has become non-deliberative. Of course, we are interested in deliberation regarding the two questions of governance (Is this difficulty a threat? and Should we do this?). The next section explains the concept of the organizing principle, and how this notion enables us to determine whether a given discursive contribution addresses either political/moral question. By combining the norms and procedures established in the first and second sections, we will be able to judge whether or the extent to which an inclusive discourse regarding either political/moral question is deliberative or something else (advocacy or fakery).

Recall that the previous chapters emphasized full-representativedeliberation’s primary constitutional function of revealing the national interest regarding difficulties that occur. Our literature review, however, revealed that many students of congressional deliberation may have overlooked this necessary deliberative agenda item. Thus, the final sec-

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Losing Our Democratic Spirit: Congressional Deliberation and the Dictatorship of Propaganda
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Chapter 1 - The Democratic Connection 1
  • Chapter 2 - Stereotypes and Conventions 15
  • Chapter 3 - The Power of Language 41
  • Chapter 4 - Tools 59
  • Chapter 5 - The Lebanon Difficulty 95
  • Chapter 6 - The Persian Gulf Difficulty 137
  • Chapter 7 - The Somalia Difficulty 165
  • Chapter 8 - The Emperor’s Clothes 189
  • References 215
  • Index 221
  • About the Author 227
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