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    • 1. Culture, Theory and Society Lecture 8: Democracy and its opponents
    • 2. Democracy
      • Central idea of Enlightenment thought
      • Particularly in the form of Liberal Democracy
    • 3. The history of democracy
      • Possibly began in ancient Iraq or India
      • Definite beginnings in ancient Greece:
      • Athens
      • www.sikyon.com/athens/Monuments/athens_view1.jpg
    • 4. Athenian democracy 1
      • All citizens were free
      • All citizens could vote in the assembly
      • (Direct democracy)
      • Treasurers and generals chosen by election
      • Other officials, like juries, chosen by lot (sortition)
    • 5. Athenian democracy 2
      • Begun by Solon in 594 BCE
      • Strengthened by Pericles (495-429 BCE)
      • Finally ended by the Romans in 146 BCE
      http://images.google.co.uk/ www.poetryfoundation.org
    • 6. Obvious problems with Athenian democracy
      • It did not include women or slaves
      • The Athenians ruled over other city states “the Delian league”, which were not free
    • 7. Democratic elements were also present in:
      • Ancient Rome
      • The ancient Christian church
      • Ancient Germany
      • Medieval city states (Florence and Venice)
      • Medieval Poland
      • The althing of Iceland: the world’s oldest parliament (930 CE)
    • 8. Important dates for liberal democracy
      • The Bill of Rights (1689) England
      • The Bill of Rights (1791) the U.S.A.
      • France (1792) universal male suffrage
      • New Zealand (1893) first major nation to enfranchise women
    • 9. Two types of democracy:
      • Liberal
      • Illiberal
      • Singapore
      • Zimbabwe
      • Liberal autocracies are also possible
      • Hong Kong
    • 10. Liberal democracies in 2008
      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Freedom_House_electoral_democracies_2008.gif
    • 11. Liberal democracies must have …
      • Elections – free and fair
      • Secret ballots
      • Universal suffrage
      • Political pluralism
      • The rule of law
      • An independent judiciary
      • Civilian control of the military
      • Freedom of expression
      • Freedom of assembly
      • Freedom of religion
    • 12. JUSTIFICATIONS OF DEMOCRACY - 1 (intrinsic)
      • Every individual gets a say in how the country is run:
      • each person in a political community should be entitled to have his/her interests given equal consideration
    • 13. JUSTIFICATIONS OF DEMOCRACY – 2 (instrumental)
      • Liberal democracies never (or rarely) fight wars with one another
      • Poor liberal democracies (compared to poor dictatorships) have:
      • Better education
      • Better access to drinking water
      • Better health care
      • Better life expectancy
      • Lower infant mortality
    • 14. JUSTIFICATIONS OF DEMOCRACY – 3 (instrumental)
      • No functioning democracy has suffered a large-scale famine (Sen)
      • Compared to non-democracies, democracies have
      • less genocide
      • fewer refugee crises
      • higher levels of happiness
      • lower levels of corruption
    • 15. Karl Popper 1902-1994
      • The Open Society and its Enemies (1945):
      • Democracy is the only system that allows for a peaceable change of government
      http://www.nndb.com
    • 16. The liberal critique of democracy
      • Racists and other unpleasant people can win power
      • Constitutional protections are easily overthrown
      • Voters can be irrational
      • Democracy has failed to overcome widespread inequality
      • It is not clear what the definition of a “people” is: when is it acceptable for states to secede?
    • 17. Which is better …?
      • A massively unequal democracy or a dictatorship where everyone is equal?
      • An anti-racist dictatorship or a racist democracy?
    • 18. Alternatives to democracy
      • Absolute monarchy
      • Theocracy
      • Dictatorship
      • One-party state
      • Military junta
    • 19. Authoritarianism
      • Centralised power structures
      • Political power is used to mobilise the people around the aims of the government
      • Rule of men, not the rule of law
      • Elections are rigged
      • Leadership cannot be displaced
      • No guaranteed civil liberties
      • No/restricted freedoms of speech, assembly or religion
    • 20. Totalitarianism
      • Characteristic of Fascist and Communist states
      • Controls all aspects of life – public and private
      • Usually under a charismatic leader
      • Lenin
      • Hitler
      • Pol Pot
      • Last totalitarian state – North Korea
      • http://images.google.co.uk
      www.doukhobor.org www.holocaust-history.org www.psywarrior.com
    • 21. Hannah Arendt 1906-1979
      • The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)
      • Totalitarianism relies on ideology:
      • History is racial struggle (Nazism)
      • History class struggle (Marxism)
      • This provides a comforting answer to all problems, past and present
      • However
      • Totalitarianism relies on terror
      • Unlike authoritarianism, it seeks to control every aspect of everyone’s life
      http://images.google.co.uk/
    • 22. Authoritarianism in general
      • For
      • More stable
      • Cheaper
      • Less crime
      • Against
      • People have limited freedom
      • Governments are harder to remove
      • Authoritarian states have more
      • Genocide
      • Famine
      • Refugees
      • Corruption
      • Illiteracy
      • etc etc
    • 23. “ Democracy is preferable to any other kind of government”
      • This statement is supported by majorities all over the world
      • “ www.worldpublicopinion.org”
    • 24. In general,
      • Authoritarian states lack a legitimising theory
      • So …
      • They pretend to be democratic
    • 25. Four theorists of authoritarian societies
      • Plato 427-347 (?) BCE
      • The Republic
      • In a democracy, people will choose a demagogue
      • The demagogue will become a tyrant
      • -------------------------------------------------
      • Humans are corrupted by power
      • Only philosophers can resist corruption
      • Therefore, the philosophers should rule
      http://images.google.co.uk
    • 26. Plato also proposed …
      • The rulers are not allowed to have property
      • The destruction of family units
      • The censorship of most music and poetry
      • Control of what all classes are allowed to read
    • 27. Problem’s with Plato’s Republic
      • Democracies exist where the people do not choose demagogues
      • Totalitarian
      • Unnatural
      • Unfeasible
    • 28. Marxism
      • Liberal Democracy is a tool used by the state
      • It controls the masses
      • It gives them the illusion of choice
      • Power is still controlled by private capital
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Karl_Marx.jpg
    • 29. Problems with Marxism
      • Post-revolutionary societies provide no democracy at all
      • If human rights are a bourgeois illusion, then terror becomes a legitimate tool
      • “the ends justify the means”
      • “the dictatorship of the proletariat” is deliberately left vague
    • 30. The Islamist critique of democracy
      • Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966)
      • Milestones (1964)
      • Sovereignty belongs to Allah
      • Democracy is the sovereignty of man
      • Therefore the authority that belongs to Allah should be returned to him
      • The West (democracies) are “evil and corrupt”
      http://fursans.wordpress.com/sayyid-qutb/
    • 31. Problems with the Islamist critique of democracy
      • Not all Muslims would accept this interpretation of the Quran
      • It is of limited applicability to non-Muslims
      • The solutions given assert the law of Allah but do not address the elimination of corruption and so on
    • 32. “Asian Values”
      • Associated with such figures as Mahathir Mohamed (b 1925)
      • Combines elements of Islam and Confucianism
      www.intellectualconservative.com
    • 33. Asian Values
      • Strong leadership
      • Respect for harmony and collective well-being
      • Loyalty towards authority (parents, government)
      • Guided democracy
      • Not
      • Political pluralism
      • Individualism and human rights
      • Respect for freedom
      • Liberal democracy
    • 34. Critics of “Asian Values”
      • Amartya Sen
      • Kim Dae Jung
      • Long Ying Tai (b 1952):
      • “ Asian Values” are just another way of suppressing freedom of speech
      thechinadesk.wordpress.com
    • 35. Noam Chomsky (b 1928)
      • Enlightenment thinker
      • Power is always illegitimate
      • Wage slavery is slavery
      • Modern democracies (e.g. the U.S.A.) preach democracy, but suppress it
      • The Western mass media is all propaganda
      www.nndb.com
    • 36. Noam Chomsky
      • He is a libertarian socialist with anarchist leanings
      • However he thinks:
      • “the United Stares is the freest country in the world”
    • 37. Conclusion 1 – Liberal Democracy
      • It has its problems
      • It generally provides a better society over a wide range of measures
      • It is the system that most people in the world would prefer
    • 38. Conclusion 2 – critiques of liberal democracy
      • Totalitarian (Plato/Marx))
      • Too ready to use terror/violence (Marx)
      • Utopian (Plato/Marx/Chomsky)
      • Refer to values that many people do not share (Qutb/Asian Values)
      • Do not really address the problem of corruption (all of them!)
    • 39. Conclusion 3
      • Winston Churchill
      • “Democracy is the worst system
      • … except for all the others”
      www.battlefield-site.co.uk

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