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

By Michael Signer

ISBN-10: 0230606245

ISBN-13: 9780230606241

ISBN-10: 0230618561

ISBN-13: 9780230618565

A demagogue is a tyrant who owes his preliminary upward thrust 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 a protracted view of the struggle to guard democracy from inside of, from the brutal basic 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 so much attention-grabbing figures, together with Adolf Hitler, Senator Joe McCarthy, and basic Douglas Macarthur, and explains how humanity's urge for liberty may give upward thrust to darkish forces that threaten that very freedom. To uncover the answer to democracy's demagogue challenge, the ebook delves into the tales of 4 nice thinkers who all in my opinion struggled with democracy--Plato, Alexis de Tocqueville, Leo Strauss, and Hannah Arendt.

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Plato’s end result does not hold much interest for a modern democracy; what is interesting, however, are two things: the extraordinary lengths that he believed were necessary to avoid the problems he saw in democracy, and the stories he told about democracy’s own instability. Plato had little direct experience in politics. His only real flirtation with political action ended as he watched his city collapse around him. ”50 The tarnishing of the “golden” constitution occurred, in Plato’s eyes, through Athens’ abuse of the most important person in his life.

In his cycle, the demagogue turns human history like a great, merciless wheel, crushing people and their dreams in its gears. The hand-to-hand combat between democracy and the demagogue dominated centuries of history, unleashing violence that forever shadowed our ideas about human freedom. After decades of struggling to control demagogues, Athenians ultimately realized that the problem of the demagogue rested not in some foreign enemy and not in the spirits and demigods they usually blamed for most human mishaps.

In its simplest form, the world’s most famous book of philosophy is also a book about demagogues. The Republic is composed of ten sections, or “books,” which together construct a hermetic, perfectly logical case for a fictional utopia—a small state where injustice is impossible, where people live in perfect economy and harmony, and, most importantly, that utterly eliminates the very possibility of political violence stirred up by demagogues. Plato’s solution to the problems he watched in Athens was to create a state where a group of “Guardians” made every important political decision.

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


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