Thursday, March 15, 2018

Democracy and the West

Democratic parliamentary government is a less efficient, and therefore a more wasteful, regime than oligarchic parliamentary government, and even a parliamentary oligarchy is inefficient and extravagant by comparison with a well-managed authoritarian regime.  Parliamentary government and, a fortiori, parliamentary government with a wide franchise, is a political extravagance that is a political hall-mark of already achieve power, wealth, and security.  It is a tax on these assets; it is not one of their sources.  Unlike the belief that science has been a source of Western power, the belief that democracy has been a source of Western power is a fallacy.  Democracy has been a Western amenity that Western power has brought within the West’s reach.
 - Arnold Toynbee, America and the World Revolution (1962)

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