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May 19, 2010

Quote Of The Day

by Brad Warbiany

Pretty much sums up one of the main problems with modern democracy:

In a widely quoted book entitled The End of History, Francis Fukuyama wrote about the intellectual and practical triumph of democracy as a system of government. No further political paradigm shifts would be required. Democracy was the omega end point of the historical process of human sociopolitical evolution. Great reading, perfect for the 1990s when American triumphalism and the Washington Consensus reigned supreme. But Fukuyama seems to have overlooked the tendency of modern democracies with universal suffrage to glacially move towards bankruptcy by promising their voters entitlements that these governments cannot afford.

Democracy is the rule of the popular, not necessarily the just. And voting yourself goodies from yourself the public purse will always be popular.

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  • Ron

    As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote eloquently in his Democracy In America tome;

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

  • Controlphreak

    I’d say 1)we’ve never had democracy proper in this nation or any other since ancient Athens (with a tiny population), and 2)democracy and entitlement states are not a direct correlation. I’d like to see Fukuyama’s connotation of democracy.

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  • Michael O. Powell

    It’s really pretty funny that, in less than two decades, we went from Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History” being a bestseller to Fareed Zakaria’s “The Post-American World” topping the lists.

  • Michael O. Powell

    Controlphreak – I haven’t actually read it, but it seems Fukuyama used the term “democracy” interchangeably to describe what is really republican governance.

    I would posit that direct democracy has been pushed in post-war situations with alot of ethnic and tribal divisions i.e. Iraq. In Iraq, you had alot of American commentators cheerleading as Iraqis voted for ethnic warfare, because at least they were voting. Given our own historical divisions, things could have been alot worse if we hadn’t started off with a republican system set up with loads of checks and balances.

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