Democracy: A Very Short Introduction
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No political concept is more used, and misused, than that of democracy. Nearly every regime today claims to be democratic, but not all "democracies" allow free politics, and free politics existed long before democratic franchises.
This book is a short account of the history of the doctrine and practice of democracy, from ancient Greece and Rome through the American, French, and Russian revolutions, and of the usages and practices associated with it in the modern world. It argues that democracy is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for good government, and that ideas of the rule of law, and of human rights, should in some situations limit democratic claims.
a figure like Joseph Chamberlain had sublime confidence, as had Disraeli before him, that the people could be 'managed'. Joe Chamberlain had had his power base in 'the Birmingham caucus' (a term imported from American politics), but had broken from the Liberal Party over Gladstone's Home Rule for Ireland Bill of 1886, bringing down the 73 9. Mr Punch sees Gladstone and Disraeli as noble Romans anxious to foresee the future of politics. government and allying his followers as Unionists with
Blake's 'dark satanic mills', dark as they were, had something to do with the huge general increase in standard of living of industrial countries which has something to do with an effective democracy. Capitalist democracy and liberalism By 1886, when that verse appeared on the newly erected Statue of Liberty, the democratic self-identity of the United States was being reimagined. Some would continue to say, as the newspaper editor Horace Greeley intoned, 'Go West, young man, go West', but
that capitalism created democracy and even that globalization is thus a force for the inevitability of democracy, have some special pleading to do over the case of the most rapidly expanding capitalist economy in the world in which the government nonetheless remains in the hands of a party that represses any expression of political opposition; albeit a government that has, as it were, retreated both from detailed controls of society and egalitarianism doctrine, as distinct from a meritocratic
Niebuhr's book Christian Realism and Political Problems: 'Man's inclination to justice makes democracy possible; but man's capacity for injustice makes it necessary.' The optimism we need to prevent ourselves from destroying our own democratic freedoms and, indeed, our own human habitat must be based on a reasoned pessimism. 120 Further reading Nearly everything written on the history of political ideas either touches on democracy or is relevant to it, and similarly the vast number of general
Educationfor Citizenship and the Teaching of Democracy in Schools (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 1998). Horatio Alger, Struggling Upward, or Luke Larkin's Luck, ed. Carl Bode (Penguin Books, 1985). 121 Geoff Andrews (ed.), Citizenship (Lawrence & Wishart, 1991). Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 2nd edn (Allen & Unwin, 1958). The Human Condition (Cambridge University Press, 1958). Aristotle, The Politics. Main Currents in Sociological Thought, vol. 1 (Weidenfeld &