Democracy in america is a useful fiction
Democracy in America by Alexis de TocquevilleDemocracy in America has had the singular honor of being even to this day the work that political commentators of every stripe refer to when they seek to draw large conclusions about the society of the USA. Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat, came to the young nation to investigate the functioning of American democracy & the social, political & economic life of its citizens, publishing his observations in 1835 & 1840. Brilliantly written, vividly illustrated with vignettes & portraits, Democracy in America is far more than a trenchant analysis of one society at a particular point in time. What will most intrigue modern readers is how many of the observations still hold true: on the mixed advantages of a free press, the strained relations among the races & the threats posed to democracies by consumerism & corruption. So uncanny is Tocqueville’s insight & so accurate are his predictions, that it seems as tho he were not merely describing the American identity but actually helping to create it.
The Case Against Democracy
Chris Hedges is on vacation and will return to writing his weekly Truthdig column on Sept. While he is on break, we will republish some of his Truthdig columns. This one originally appeared on Jan. The coup is over. We lost. The ruling is one more judicial effort to streamline mechanisms for corporate control. It exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power.
Only after the writer's death in did his publisher reveal Adams's authorship although, upon publication, the novel had immediately become popular. Contemporaneous conjecture placed the book under the joint authorship of Clarence King, John Hay and Henry Adams and their spouses who lived side by side on H street in Washington, D. Democracy is a novel about political power , its acquisition, use and abuse. It is set at the beginning of a new administration , with the election campaign just over and the new President of the United States just having been elected. However, all the characters depicted are entirely fictitious.
About as many are incapable of naming even one of the three branches of the United States government. Fewer than a quarter know who their senators are, and only half are aware that their state has two of them. Democracy is other people, and the ignorance of the many has long galled the few, especially the few who consider themselves intellectuals. Plato, one of the earliest to see democracy as a problem, saw its typical citizen as shiftless and flighty:. It would be much safer, Plato thought, to entrust power to carefully educated guardians.
The fiction of democracy remains useful, not only for corporations, but for our bankrupt liberal class. If the fiction is seriously challenged, liberals.
always look on the bright side of life quotes images
If most voters are uninformed, who should make decisions about the public’s welfare?
The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin coined the term inverted totalitarianism in to describe what he saw as the emerging form of government of the United States. Wolin analysed the United States as increasingly turning into a managed democracy similar to an illiberal democracy. He uses the term "inverted totalitarianism" to draw attention to the totalitarian aspects of the American political system while emphasizing its differences from proper totalitarianism , such as Nazi and Stalinist regimes. The book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco portrays inverted totalitarianism as a system where corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy and where economics bests politics. Wolin argues that the United States is increasingly totalitarian as a result of repeated military mobilizations: to fight the Axis powers in the s, to contain the Soviet Union during the Cold War and to fight the War on Terror after the September 11 attacks. Wolin describes this development toward inverted totalitarianism in terms of two conflicting political power centers, namely the constitutional imaginary and the power imaginary.
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