On the Dangers of Democracy

Voters leave a polling station on election day in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, in 2016. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)
The rising authoritarianism of our time is not an aberration.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE ‘L iving in a democracy is no longer protection from authoritarianism,” Joshua Keating argues in Slate. One quibble: Living in a democracy never offered protection from authoritarianism — democracy has as often been the handmaiden of authoritarianism.

For more than a century, we have used “democracy” as a shorthand for good and decent government, and also to indicate a distinctly progressive American view of good government. The founding father of American progressivism, Woodrow Wilson, demanded a war, because, as he said, “The world must be made safe for democracy.” When the American Left speaks about its desire to exercise power over businesses


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