Monday, August 18, 2014

"Democracy Against Itself"

New from Edinburgh University Press: Democracy Against Itself: Sustaining an Unsustainable Idea by Mark Chou.

About the book, from the publisher:
By their very nature, all democracies have the potential to destroy themselves. But this fact is too rarely documented by acolytles of the system. In the decades since Joseph Goebbels, then Reich Minister of Propaganda, reminded the world that it 'will always remain one of the best jokes of democracy, that it gave its deadly enemies the means by which it was destroyed', democrats have quickly forgotten just how precarious a political framework it can be.

Using the collapse of democracy in ancient Athens and the Weimar Republic, as well as the uncertain fate of democratic rule in the United States and China today as illustrative examples, Mark Chou examines the conditions and characteristics of democracy that make it prone to self-destruct. In drawing out the political lessons from these past collapses, he explains how a democracy can, simply by being democratic, sow the seeds of its own destruction.
--Marshal Zeringue