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Department
Political Science
Course
POL SCI 135
Professor
Peter Rutenberg
Semester
Winter

Description
Mencken • It remains impossible, as it was in the 18 century, to separate the democratic idea from the theory that there is a mystical merit, an esoteric and ineradicable rectitude, in the man at the bottom of the scale—that inferiority, by some strange magic, becomes a sort of superiority—nay, the superiority of superiorities. • “transient eclipse”: the movement is toward the completer and more enamored enfranchisement of the lower orders. • Down there, one hears, lies a deep, illimitable reservoir of righteousness and wisdom, unpolluted by the corruption of privilege. • The people—their yearnings are pure; they alone are capable of a perfct patriotism; in them is the only hope of peace and happiness on this lugubrious ball. • The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy! • Early democratic man seems to have given little thought to the democratic ideal, and less respect • What he wanted was something concrete and highly materialistic—more to eat, less work, higher wages, lower taxes • He had no apparent belief in the acroamatic virtue of his own class, and certainly none in its capacity to rule • Once the pikes were out, indeed, it was a great deal more dangerous to be a tribune of the people than to be an ornament of the old order. • The more copiously the blood gushed, the nearer that old order came to resurrection. • After wars, Democratic man contemplating himself, was suddenly warmed by the spectacle. His condition had plainly improved. Once a slave, he was not only a serf. Once condemned to silence, he was now free to criticize his master, and even to flout them, and the ordinances of God with them • As he gained skill and fluency at that sombre and fascinating art, he began to heave in wonder at his own merit • He was free to praise, and damn, challenge and remonstrate; he was also gifted with a peculiar rectitude of thought and will, and a high talent for ideas, particularly on th political plane • So his wishes, in his mind, began to take on the dignity of legal rights, and after a while, of intrinsic and natural rights, and by the same token the wishes of his master sank to the level of mere ignominious lusts. • Everywhere its fundamental axioms are accepted: (a) that the great masses of men have an inalienable right, born of the very nature of things, to govern themselves, and (b) that they are competent to do it. • Are they often caught for being stupid? • Then it is only because they are misinformed by those who would exploit them: the remedy is more education. • Are they naughty? Then it is only a natural reaction against the oppressions they suffer: the remedy is to deliver the, Half page more on Zakaria What wasAthens before democracy? How did it become a democracy? Is it illiberal according to Zakaria? How? Which aspects make it illiberal? Conclude. Zakaria • Hierarches are breaking down, closed systems are opening up, and pressures from the masses are now the primary engine of social change • Democracy has gone from being a form of government to a way of life • Economic growth is democratic: enriched hundreds of millions in the industrial world, turning consumption, saving, and investing into a mass phenomenon--- this has forced the social structures of societies to adapt • Economic power has been shifting downward—catering more to middle class • Culture has also been democratized—Quantity has become quality • Production of democratic wave—a technological revolution, growing middle-class wealth, and the collapse of alternative systems and ideologies that organized societyAND AMERICA • Democracy is breaking down hierarchies, empowering individuals, and transforming societies well beyond their politics • Indeed much of what is distinctive about the world we live in is a consequence of the democratic idea. • Democratization of violence: state’s advantage has been weakened; now small groups of people can do dreadful things. Capital markets, private business, local governments, nongovernmental organizations have all been gaining strength, sapping the authority of the state. The diffusion of power will continue because it is fueled by broad technological, social, and economic changes. • The age of terror will thus be marked by a tension, between the forces that drive the democratization of authority on the one hand and the state on the other • Across the globe, democratically elected regimes, often ones that have been re-elected or reaffirmed through referenda, are routinely ignoring constitutional limits on their power and depriving their citizens of basic rights. • This disturbing phenomenon—visible from Peru to the Palestinian territories, from Ghana to Venezuela—could be called “illiberal democracy.” • For the West, democracy means “liberal democracy”: a political system marked not only by free and fair elections by also by the rule of law, a separation of powers, and the protection of basic liberties of speech, assembly, religion, and property. (Constitutional liberalism) • Over the last half-century in the West, democracy and liberty have merged. But today the two strands of liberal democracy are coming apart across the globe. Democracy is flourishing; liberty is not. • Across theArab world elections held tomorrow would probably bring to power regimes that are more intolerant, reactionary, anti-Western, and anti-Semitic than the dictatorships currently in place • Their people sense the deprivation of liberty more strongly than ever before because they know the alternatives; they can see them on CNN, BBC, andAl-Jazeera • But yet, newly democratic countries too often become sham democracies, which produces disenchantment, disarray, violence, and new forms of tyranny. • IRANAND VENEZUELA: What is at the root of this troubling development? Why do so many developing countries have so much difficulty creating stable, genuinely democratic countries? (Take note that, Zakaria does not limit illiberal democracies to developing countries or newly created democracies—making the point thatAthens can be an illiberal democracy for suppressing the people) • Political democracy: the rule of the people • Samuel P. Huntington: Elections, open, free, and fair, are the essence of democracy, the inescapable sine qua non. Governments produced by elections may be inefficient, corrupt, shortsighted, irresponsible, dominated by special interest, and incapable of adopting policies demanded by the public good. These qualities make such governments undesirable but they do not make them undemocratic. Democracy is one public virtue, not the only one, and the relation of democracy to other public virtues and vices can only be understood if democracy is clearly distinguished from the other characteristics of political systems. • The definition also accords with the common sense view of the term. If a country hold competitive, multiparty elections, we call it “democratic”. • When public participation in a country’s politics is increased---for example, through the enfranchisement of women—that country is seen as having become more democratic • Of course elections must be open and fair, and this requires some protections for the freedom of speech and assembly. • But to go beyond this minimal requirement and label a country democratic only if it guarantees a particular catalog of social, political, economic, and religious rights— which will vary with every observer—makes the word “democracy” meaningless”. (Pg. 5) • After all, Sweden has an economic system that many argue curtails individual property rights, France until recently had a state monopoly on television, and Britain has a state religion. • But they are all clearly and identifiably democracies. To have “democracy” mean, subjectively, “a good government” makes it analytically useless. • Constitutional liberalism is the government’s goals. 19 century, liberal concerning with individual economic, political, and religious liberty. (classical liberalism) • For decades the tiny island of Hong Kong was a small but revealing illustration that liberty did not depend on democr
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