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Can Western style liberal democracy survive?

Reader comment on item: Conservatism's Hidden History

Submitted by Phil Mond (Australia), Aug 1, 2018 at 20:26

(My previous post was cut short to just 3 words. Mea culpa: I used angular brackets for quotation.)

Great thanks to Ofir Haivry and Yoram Hazony for the outstanding publication.
Great kudos to Daniel Pipes for bringing this publication to our attention.

It is indicative that the concept of liberalism was born not in the inflamed brain of an uncanny French philosopher but in the cool mind of a medical doctor John Locke - born and bred in the midst of the historically first and most advanced parliamentary democracy.

Locke's Second Treatise is a verdict, or rather a diagnosis of the incurable trait of democracy.

Democracy is self-destructing. Delegating decision making to the governed populace may protect against abuses of absolute power but it's also a guarantee that some decisions will be utterly wrong and some may be viciously evil.

Do not take Locke at face value. He elegantly shows that 'social contract' is a fiction. (Yes, the term 'social contract' came up later, but it's convenient to be used here).

As I see it, Locke sarcastically demonstrates that it's possible and tempting to build up a concept of social organisation that is vague, artificial, unviable, ignoring all historical experience but appealing to the populace.

Under proper circumstances the electorate will vote for it, eventually committing a national suicide.

Locke was not the first one with this revelation. Thucydides made the same case even stronger some 2,000 years prior but Locke made it at the background of the 'more advanced' British parliamentary democracy.

A famous characterisation of democracy as a bad system but all others being even worse – no longer holds water.

We are witnessing an unstoppable progress of the social organisation based on the well thought through Confucian model of governance;
dynamically updated to modernity;
with administrative decision-making delegated to professionals selected on the principles of meritocracy;
with long-term strategic planning;
with law-abiding populace whose input is reserved to and limited only to disastrous developments;
with rapid progress in prosperity, science, technology, military might, etc, etc.

Can Western style liberal democracy survive vis-a-vis such a competitor?

Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

Thank you for the thoughtful analysis.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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