Download Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst by Michael Signer PDF

By Michael Signer

A demagogue is a tyrant who owes his preliminary upward push to the democratic help of the loads. Huey lengthy, Hugo Chavez, and Moqtada al-Sadr are all transparent examples of this harmful byproduct of democracy. Demagogue takes an extended view of the struggle to shield democracy from inside, from the brutal normal Cleon in historic Athens, the demagogues who plagued the bloody French Revolution, George W. Bush's na?ve democratic test in Iraq, and past. This compelling narrative weaves tales approximately a few of history's such a lot attention-grabbing figures, together with Adolf Hitler, Senator Joe McCarthy, and normal Douglas Macarthur, and explains how humanity's urge for liberty may give upward thrust to darkish forces that threaten that very freedom. To find the answer to democracy's demagogue challenge, the ebook delves into the tales of 4 nice thinkers who all for my part struggled with democracy--Plato, Alexis de Tocqueville, Leo Strauss, and Hannah Arendt.

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Extra info for Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies

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C. 19 This punishing stay concentrated Polybius’s mind on the rise and fall of regimes. A harsh, empirical style dominated his famous histories, but the pressure created gems of insight. He described for his adoptive countrymen a “cycle of constitutional revolutions” seen in the dozens of competing Greek city-states hundreds of years earlier. He argued that there were three kinds of rule, each of which disintegrates into a base form. ”20 A demagogue rises from the ashes of a destroyed democracy , sacrificing freedom for order.

Democracy instead lets the people make decisions. So in a democracy, whoever controls the people, or the authorized representative of the people, has great power. That power can lead to a wide range of actions, from justice to massacres. There is spirited discussion among experts about how to define democracy, which has only become more complicated over the centuries since its invention. 10 Electoral democracies are defined simply by the fact that they have elections. However, the basic existence of elections does not tell you much about a country’s overall politics, just as a judicial system does not mean a country actually has justice if all it can assemble are sham trials.

Pericles’ two sons died in the plaguethe next year. Cleon, now an elected general, was making waragainst Sparta. More demagogues now emerged, less politically skilled than Cleon but even more bombastic. ”41 They saw the politicalbenefit of militating against the hated enemy, regardless of thedamage that intervention and belligerence could do to Athens’ national security interests. The cycle of regimes now began playing out geopolitically, as the demagogues took over military decisions and sapped Athens of the cool strategic sensibility that had led to decades of preeminence.

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