Sadly for Imran Khan, the myth of the spiritual vote is fallacious; no one votes for a poor, unpropertied
Some of the earliest philosophers, Plato and Aristotle among them, shared a concern (born of elitism as much as intellect) about rule by those deemed less qualified to make decisions--the mob, the unpropertied
, the poor.
In the early nineteenth century there were plenty of seemingly impregnable justifications for removing voting rights from blacks, women, and unpropertied
white males, but there was no doubt about the exclusion, and it eventually came to recognized as wrong.
On the other, it is unsurprising that the gender arrangements practised by comparatively unpropertied
non-agriculturalists more often retained matrilocal marriage, matrilineal or bilateral inheritance; and more varied sex roles involving more sharing of communal authority between women and men than was generally the case with agriculturalists.
The act of exclusion of all others links the assertion of property to other strategies of legitimation and delegitimation in the novel, foremost among them, the discourses of race that attempt to enforce a binary opposition between black and white, unpropertied
The presence of so many unpropertied
aristocrats, Maus asserts, destabilizes "almost to the extent of annihilating, the powerful connections between property and power as they have been asserted in many of Shakespeare's other plays" (112).
Obviously, the Reform Act, which actually introduced what Thompson called "10 [pounds sterling] householder franchise" (16), was a radical step forward taken by the Whigs for the admission of the underprivileged into the body politic (Clark 1986:123); yet, among the target underprivileged were not included the unpropertied
, especially wage-earning factory workers, the so-called "factory proletariat" (Thompson 1988:15 and 23), and they had to wait until the passage in 1867 of the Second Reform Act in order to gain their political rights.
One could pursue the question of legitimacy to its logical end, questioning the authority of a constitution that was neither proposed nor ratified by women, African Americans, or the unpropertied
On the other hand, granting the vote to those who do not own property risks oppression of a propertied minority by an unpropertied
It would take generations to include the unpropertied
, women, and nonwhites among those recognized as fully human and therefore entitled to full rights and citizenship.
Lunacy laws distinguished between the propertied and unpropertied
, making it far easier to commit the latter.
117) Instead, women, people of color, and unpropertied
men were excluded from Habermas's theoretically egalitarian public sphere, which ultimately represented the interests of White, propertied males only.