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Political Stuff II

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Jul. 7th, 2006 | 11:00 am
mood: goodgood
posted by: pifactorial in revicon

I recently got into reading the book The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad. I just finished the introduction when it hit me, "Wait a second... this is revicon."

Take the following thesis (emphasis mine):
To undertake a restoration is not to seek the return of an old order. We like the democratic changes that we have lived through and cherish their achievements. The goal is liberal* democracy not as it was practiced in the nineteenth century, but as it should be practiced in the twenty-first century. Democratic societies need new buffers and guides, designed for modern problems and times. And yet, any such undertaking must begin with a return to history, to the struggle for liberty and democracy that began in the West and spread elsewhere. If we want to renew the perennial quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we must recall the forces that produced them in the first place. Only by understanding freedom's past can we help secure its future.

* I use the term liberal in the nineteenth-century sense, meaning concerned with individual economic, political, and religious liberty, which is sometimes called "classical liberalism," not in the modern, American sense, which associates it with the welfare state, affirmative action, and other policies.

Anyway, I could post more quotes if you like, but I suggest you go read this book for yourself. It's a bold and fascinating look at the balance between liberty and democracy - between the past and the future.

I'm encouraged to see that it was a bestseller. Clearly I'm not the only one who is interested in these issues.

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