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Rethinking liberal democracy: prelude to totalitarianism

[journal article]

David, Isabel

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Abstract In the long course of human evolution and political experimentation, liberal democracy, especially after the events of 1989, has come to be seen as the best political system. In fact, we seemed to have reached the only system compatible with liberty, after the dreadful experiences of Communist and Nazi totalitarianism, and its twin in the economic realm - capitalism. But is liberalism really conducive to freedom? I argue that evil - or totalitarianism - arises from the combination of both the Platonic and Augustinian views: ignorance of values and the pursuit of one’s egotistic desires. Evil has an essentially private nature. In this sense, totalitarianism may arise from a utilitarian culture that sees people - or some forms of knowledge - as worthless and disposable objects.
Keywords democracy; liberalism; political system; freedom; value-orientation; totalitarianism; utilitarism
Classification Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Political Science
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 9-18
Journal Journal of Liberty and International Affairs, 1 (2015) 1
ISSN 1857-9760
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-ShareAlike