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Monday, May 03, 2004

Demofever  

Collin May at Innocents Abroad:
From the historical perspective, the twentieth century was largely a battle fought between liberal democracy on one side and totalitarianism in its two modern forms of fascism and communism on the other. Once again though, we must note that the great representatives of liberal democracy - the British and the Americans - were then, and remain today, the democratic nations least likely to be swayed by the temptations and arguments of totalitarian ideology. ... The conclusion one must draw is that perhaps liberal democracy hasn't really won the day, at least not to the extent that we would like to think. Rather, it appears that in the heart of Europe, the battle goes on to some extent, and even if fascism and communism as such will not likely return, the fanaticism of democracy - key to both fascism and communism - still wield great influence in Europe and they are finding their way into international law and international organizations enamored of this law. [Emphasis added]
I think the insight that totalitarianism, at least in its twentieth-century European forms, is a fevered form of democracy, the way it functions in an unhealthy body politic - that totalitarianism in a sense is or begins as illiberal democracy - is a very important one. Important for understanding the recent past, the present tensions between the Anglosphere and European core, periphery, and ex-colonial regions, and the near future, as we attempt to implant democratic forms in the radically and fundamentally diseased societies of the Middle East.

It is also possible that the increasing illiberalism of the American Democratic party is a function of social decay in the blue states, a virus that takes root and spreads as the cultural immune system is overstressed to failure.

posted by Kelly | 11:34 PM link
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