Front Page Titles (by Subject) I.: Introduction - The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan, Vol. 10 (The Reason of Rules: Constitutional Political Economy)
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I.: Introduction - Geoffrey Brennan, The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan, Vol. 10 (The Reason of Rules: Constitutional Political Economy) 
The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan, Vol. 10 (The Reason of Rules: Constitutional Political Economy) Foreword by Robert D. Tollison (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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As we suggested earlier, the failure of the contractarian-constitutionalist argument to gain adherents in the broad community of scholarship in social science and social philosophy does not stem primarily from disagreement at the level of scientific analysis. Nor does it arise from basic ideological discord, in the proper meaning of this term, although the rhetoric of nonjoined debate often employs ideological charges to mask the absence of understanding. The problem is one of communication and understanding, at least in important part, rather than one of divergence in fundamental ethical norms. The anticonstitutionalist does not know what we are talking about, quite literally, because he approaches the subject matter of social interaction from an alternative vision.
In Chapter 2, we tried to define and describe the contractarian vision or paradigm. But such a definition-description is not enough. We must also try to understand, as best we can, the opposing vision, the mind-set of the anticonstitutionalist, the foundations on which the same actual and potential world of social interaction is conceptualized. In the Nietzschean metaphor, we must try to look at the world through the other window in order to understand what it is that makes our own contractarian interpretation be so stubbornly rejected by so many of our peers. And we must do so as sympathetically as possible, forswearing the introduction of easy charges of analytic error or subversive intent.
We do not know much about the relationship between the accumulation of empirical evidence, broadly defined, and shifts in paradigms. We know that for almost all individuals, some such relationship exists, since people do change the way they view the world: Their perspectives shift as they observe more and as they observe indirectly with the aid of science. We also know, however, that people shift their views of the world when they come to understand alternative interpretations of reality based on alternative visions, without the perceived empirical-historical record’s having changed at all.
The difference between the contractarian-constitutionalist, on the one hand, and the anticonstitutionalist, on the other, does not lie in what each actually sees or observes. The difference lies, instead, in the way that each interprets what he observes or in the way that each fits his observations into an integrated structure of meaning. We want, in this chapter, to “explain” how the anticonstitutionalist looks at politics, the term “politics” here being most broadly defined to incorporate all aspects of social interaction. We can then compare and contrast this way of looking, this conceptualization, with that presented in Chapter 2. Since we are not ourselves proponents of the paradigm we seek to explain, our explanation must be treated as hypothesis rather than as an articulated statement comparable to that of Chapter 2.
We commence, in Section II, by plunging directly into the murky discourse circumvented only temporarily in Chapter 2 and promoted by the question of what individuals seek in politics. We must examine the meaning of “public good,” as compared with “private good,” which involves further discussion of the sources of value. Section III continues the discussion with a comparison between politics and science, both modeled as inherently social activities. Section IV is an attempt to demonstrate that the “truth judgment” paradigm leads almost inexorably to the myth of government benevolence. Section V explores the conceptualization of majoritarian democracy within this myth. Section VI then compares and contrasts the paradigm with our own in a more general philosophical setting.