This introductory chapter sets out the book's central argument. This book argues that care and politics are deeply intertwined, especially in a democracy. What ails our democracy is that we currently call “politics” is wrong, and our obsession with market-foremost democracy distorts what should be the most fundamental concern: care. The market cannot make ethical decisions about who receives what care, yet we have organized our democracy to leave large segments of the polity priced out of the markets for that would make us better when we are ill, educate us when we are ready to learn, let us spend time with our children if we have them, and ensure the safety of our loved ones. The result is disastrous for the kind of equality that is essential to a functioning democracy. Fixing it requires a new understanding of care and a better definition of democracy.
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