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Exit, Voice, and Domination

August 1, 2011

Great post at Abandoned Footnotes on how theories of domination underlie the exit-voice paradigm:

Hirschmann’s conceptual framework can be used to make sense of some important features of contemporary political thought. In particular, to the extent that contemporary political thought conceptualizes the key political problem not as a problem of performance (pace Hirschmann) but as a problem of domination (how should we think and what should we do about the fact that some people appear to dominate others?), specific positions will tend to emphasize one or another of the three Hirschmannian “mechanisms” for dealing with it. Thus, “right-liberals” (libertarians, but also others) tend to focus on exit as the most important component of a solution to this problem, “left-liberals” (and many other leftists who would abhor the label “liberal,” but I want to leave these aside) tend to focus on voice, and “conservatives” tend to focus on legitimacy.

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3 Comments
  1. Abelard Lindsey permalink
    August 4, 2011 11:55 pm

    The blog is saying that conservatives, as separate and distinct from libertarian-types, are fundamentally evil. This is a characteristic that I agree with.

  2. Abelard Lindsey permalink
    August 5, 2011 12:12 am

    Also, the notion that exit decreases voice is false. Exit results in a competitive meta-system of institutions which, in turn, increases the performance of those institutions. The only way that exit can reduce voice is if voice is not about improved performance, but rent-seeking parasitism instead. As far as the true conservative is concerned:

    [quote]domination can be legitimate, for the true conservative, even when there is otherwise no possibility of exit or voice, so long as the right people are in charge, or the right rules are applied, or the right procedures have been followed, etc.[/quote]

    makes clear that the true conservative worldview is nothing more than criminality.

  3. August 16, 2011 2:34 am

    Criminality implies illegitimacy. Careful, lest ye fall into conservatism…

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