Vision, Virtue and Vocation

Vision, Virtue and Vocation: Notes on Blue Labour as a Practice of Politics,’ in Blue Labour: Forging a New Politics (London: I.B. Tauris, 2015)

This is an excellent article by Luke Bretherton – available for free on Academia too. Here’s a paragraph to whet your appetite:

In terms of the relationship between organised religion and democratic citizenship Blue Labour contends that the best way to prevent the subordination of human flourishing and mutually responsible social relationships to the demands of capitalist market and the state is not law or some other procedure but through power born out of associating for common action. As already noted, the congregation and the demos are echoes of each other and neither is a crowd or multitude whose disassociated and disorganised form leaves the individual utterly vulnerable to concerted action upon her by state or market processes. Moreover, it is a partnership that can bring a mutual discipline to both the congregation and the demos. In joint action in pursuit of common goods, the congregation has to listen to and learn from its neighbours. Conversely, the congregation, as a moral tradition with a transcendent, universalistic vision of the good brings a wider horizon of reference and relationship to bear upon the immediate needs and demands of the demos. This mutual disciplining helps ensure both congregations and democratic politics (as a vehicle for the encounter with difference) remain directed towards political rather than authoritarian and anti-democratic ends.

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