Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Reading and Democracy

Foseti has some reading tips for 2013, in which we are also referred to an old review of Foseti's on Sydney George Fisher's The True History of the American Revolution.

Foseti quotes Mr. Fisher:

[I]f loyalists could come back from the grave, they would probably say that their fears and prophecies had been fulfilled in the most extraordinary manner; sometimes liberally; in most cases substantially. There is no question that the Revolution was followed by a great deal of bad government, political corruption, section strife, coarseness in manners, hostility to the arts and refinements of life, assassination, lynch law, and other things which horrified Englishmen.
Foseti also tipped about Alexander Boot's thoughts on democracy and totalitarianism a while ago – and further thoughts on democracy.

Mr. Boot starts off:
In most people’s minds, totalitarianism and democracy are antonyms. Yet the two can happily coexist not only on the same planet but also in the same country. To understand this, we should focus on the essence of totalitarianism, not its incidental manifestations, such as violence.
And this is a candidate for the one-liner of the year (2012):
The benefits of unchecked democracy are held to be self-evident, which is just as well for they would be impossible to prove either theoretically or empirically.
Mr. Boot also says:
[O]ne has to be a citizen to serve in the army, and a taxpayer to vote, but one neither has to have the vote nor to pay taxes to be a citizen. One-man-one-vote isn't a sine qua non for a society of citizens -- and neither is it the sole possible alternative to tyranny. The opposite belief made its historical entrance only in the 20th century, not coincidentally the most murderous period of history.
And he asks a poignant question:
Who, pray tell, will make the world safe from 'democracy' before a real catastrophe befalls?

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