The Politics of Gratitude: Scale, Place & Community in a Global Age
Many Americans are longing for alternative politics rooted in strong communities, recognition of limits, and respect for the natural world. These issues are not the possession of one political party. Rather, they refer to ideas rooted deeply in the best aspects of our common tradition, and they represent yearnings that many, regardless of political affiliation, share. This book articulates a cultural and political vision that leads one off the couch and into the garden, out of the shopping mall and into the farmersÆ market, and away from Washington in the direction of home. In this postpartisan call to action, political theorist Mark T. Mitchell develops the concept of the ôpolitics of gratitude,ö which revolves around four ideas: creatureliness, gratitude, human scale, and place, culminating in a distinctive, fruitful view of human nature and community at odds with the prevailing norms of individualism (and, not so paradoxically, statism), giantism, and hypermobility. Going beyond the liberal-conservative factionalism that has reduced our political and cultural discourse to clichTs and vitriol, he urges us to become responsible stewards of the earth who are committed to family and community and who abide in gratitude, taking nothing for granted. The result is a political and cultural vision that is at once local, limited, modest, republican, greenùand grateful.
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