What do present generations owe the future? In Future Freedoms, Elizabeth Markovits asks readers to consider the fact that while democracy holds out the promise of freedom and autonomy, citizens are always bound by the decisions made by previous generations. Motivated by the contemporary political and theoretical landscape, Markovits examines the relationship between democratic citizenship and time by engaging ancient Greek tragedy and comedy. She reveals the ways in which democratic thought in the West has often hinged on ignoring intergenerational relationships and the obligations they create in favor of an emphasis on freedom as sovereignty. She claims that democratic citizens must develop a set of self-directed practices that better acknowledge citizens’ connections across time, cultivating a particular orientation toward themselves as part of much larger transgenerational assemblages. As celebrations and critiques of Athenian political identity, the ancient plays at the core of Future Freedoms remind readers that intergenerational questions strike at the heart of the democratic sensibility.
This invaluable book will be of interest to students, researchers, and scholars of political theory, the history of political thought, classics, and social and political philosophy.