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by Alain de Benoist,Tomislav Sunic

Download The Problem of Democracy fb2, epub

ISBN: 1907166173
Author: Alain de Benoist,Tomislav Sunic
Language: English
Publisher: Arktos Media Ltd; First English ed. edition (January 28, 2011)
Pages: 106
Category: Politics & Government
Subcategory: Politics
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 862
Size Fb2: 1525 kb
Size ePub: 1588 kb
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The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist's book-length political works to appear in English

The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist's book-length political works to appear in English. It presents the complexity and depth which underlies all of de Benoist's work and which is often neglected by those who seek to dismiss him by oversimplifying or distorting his arguments.

Tomislav Sunić (Preface). The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist's book-length political works to appear in English

Tomislav Sunić (Preface). The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist's book-length political works to appear in English. In this valuable book, Alain de Benoist lays out a fairly comprehensive look at the arguments around Democracy, in an easily digestable form.

The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist's book-length political works to appear in English.

Magazine, well-known Croatian scholar Tomislav Sunic, Philippe Vardon of Génération Identitaire, Jobbik’s International Secretary Márton Gyöngyösi, the Hungarian traditionalist scholar Dr. Tibor Baranyi, and Generation Identity author Markus Willinger.

The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist’s book-length political works .

The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist’s book-length political works to appear in English. It presents the complexity and depth which underlies all of de Benoist’s work and which is often neglected by those who seek to dismiss him by oversimplifying or distorting his arguments. Benjamin Jones, Generation Identity.

The Problem of Democracy. Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them

The Problem of Democracy. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them. 1. Tactics in counterinsurgency - fm 3-24. 2 (fm 90-8, fm 7-98). Headquarters department of the army. File: PDF, . 3 MB. 2.

Sunić's books and views can be described as being in the style of the GRECE, a school of thought by Alain de Benoist, who wrote a preface to Sunić's book and whose articles Sunić often translates into English. Sunić has widely written, translated and lectured in English, German, French and Croatian on many authors, novelists and political

De Benoist Alain - The problem of democracy

De Benoist Alain - The problem of democracy.

Alain de Benoist is the leading thinker of the European 'New Right' movement, a school of political philosophy founded . Arktos has previously published his books The Problem of Democracy (2011), Beyond Human Rights (2011), Carl Schmitt Today (2013), and On the Brink of the Abyss (2015).

To this day he remains its primary representative, even while rejecting the label 'New Right' for himself, perceiving himself as falling outside the usual Left/Right dichotomy. He continues to write and give lectures and interviews.

Alain de Benoist and other New Right thinkers and scholars have also done so in their far more voluminous work. When defining the concept of the political, a volume needs to be. written on the masters of modern discourse. I suspect the author chose this title out of sheer provocation a title that I have always considered inappropriate! It must be emphasised that the ENR has never held positions hostile to equality and democracy.

Alain de Benoist, The Problem of Democracy, Arktos Media, 2011, £1. 0, 103 p.

Mr. de Benoist has written as powerful a critique of democracy as one is likely to find - so powerful that it is almost a surprise to find that he concludes with a prescription for how democracy could be made to work.

The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist's book-length political works to appear in English. It presents the complexity and depth which underlies all of de Benoist's work and which is often neglected by those who seek to dismiss him by oversimplifying or distorting his arguments. De Benoist shows how democracy is, contrary to what some critics have claimed, something which has been a part of our civilisation from the beginning. The problem, he says, is not the notion of democracy in itself, but rather the current understanding of the term which, instead of empowering the individual, reduces him to little more than a cog in a machine over which he has no control, and in which the direction is set by politicians with little genuine accountability. De Benoist proposes that effective democracy would mean a return to an understanding of citizenship as being tied to one's belonging to a specific political community based on shared values and common historical ties, while doing away with the liberal notion of the delegation of sovereignty to elected representatives. The type of government which is called for is thus a return to the form of government widely understood in Antiquity, but which now seems to us to be a revolutionary notion. This is the first in a series of volumes by Alain de Benoist which will be translated and published by Arktos.

Comments:

Fountain_tenderness
In this valuable book, Alain de Benoist lays out a fairly comprehensive look at the arguments around Democracy, in an easily digestable form. Written in 1985, it is striking how familiar the theories sound as I look at the immediate examples that are playing out in 2016. The author presents a history of democracy from its roots in ancient Greece, and draws the lines all the way through to modern times. As he presents four subsequent chapters, comparisons between original and current democracy help frame the readers thinking about why certain elements are problematic, and whether these are inherent issues or things specific to a new market democracy. He looks at a defence of the “cracy” of the “demos” in theory, then discusses the core fundamental of popular sovereignty, and the crisis of how this plays out practically. He closes the book with meaty discussion of a way forward, and a summary of the various observances and theses of democracy.

The book refers constantly to previous writers and seeks to present a holistic view of their writings. De Benoist emphasizes the differences and the agreements between earlier authors, and adds his own valuable insights and conclusions – even when the conclusion is that there is no real resolution to an argument. The Problem of Democracy is absolutely brimming with quotable nuggets – great philosophies and powerful truths. I’ve highlighted my way through the book like a high-school student with poor studying strategies, or like a hungry caterpillar grabbing at every green leaf. It is a beautiful book. My highlights show the sadness and depravity which the author so eloquently, even beautifully recorded. They show stark realities that certain politicians fail to understand, and that our heroes seem to personify.
Braendo
de Benoist starts with the very definition of democracy. The word was coined by the Greeks 2500 years ago to describe a system of government used by some city-states. Its roots are demos - people and cracy - power.

The Greek city states were small. The number of people who enjoyed citizenship was even smaller. No slaves. A citizen had to be born of two citizens. Even at that, the affairs of state were sufficiently complex, and the voters so numerous, that they generally had to delegate responsibility rather than decide questions by direct vote.

The Greek situation was substantially different from any modern democracy in another respect. The people - polis - were an organic unit. They were of one stock, genetically and culturally. Society was more than a mere collection of individuals: in general, the well-being of society was considered more important than the well-being of any individual. They would sacrifice an individual such as Socrates for the good of the society. If he was subverting the youth as charged, it was right to put him to death.

Modern democracies are atomistic - composed of individuals. The remaining nation-states such as the Scandanavian countries are being sufficiently diluted with immigrants that the consensus that a welfare state supports "people like me" is being severely tested. de Benoist writes about the exactly the problem they face - a plurality of values:

"The harmony Plato dreamed of nonetheless remains a commendable goal. Pluralism is a positive notion, but it cannot be applied to everything. We should not confuse the pluralism of values, which is a sign of the break-up of society (since, while values only have meaning in respect to other values, they cannot all have equal footing), with the pluralism of opinions, which is a natural consequence of human diversity."

The Greek idea justification for democracy was that it would establish a meritocracy, opening leadership roles up to the entire populace. Given that, they assumed that the actual leadership itself would always be comprised of an elite. They had no problem with elites and social classes - their concern was for the quality of government. This was Plato's major theme in "The Republic." The best government would be that of a philosopher-king. A good man. They come along occasionally in history - Pericles, St. Louis in France, Edward I in England, and maybe Lee Kwan Yew in Singapore. But they are rare, and even these men have their detractors. As Churchill said, democracy is the best of a bad lot: "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried." Another memorable quote: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Abraham Lincoln said in the nineteenth century that all men were equal under the law. Twentieth century democracy has transmuted this to the notion that the purpose of democracy is to ensure equal outcomes for all people. The Communists attempted to do it by brute force. Today's western democracies are attempting the same by softer forms of coersion - income redistribution, affirmative action and school curricula so dilute that they can no longer recognize superior intellect when it is encountered.

This has come about by the continual expansion of the voting franchise. The founders of the United States set up a republican system, representative government, because they did not trust the common man. Yet, the common man of that era had to be self-sufficient - there was no welfare. He was generally literate. In other words, a better specimen than today's average citizen.

The franchise was gradually extended. In the United States, it first went to propertyless white men about 1825, the time of de Tocqueville and Andrew Jackson, when the country started to be known as a democracy. Then it went to ex-slaves. Then it was extended to women. In the 1970s it was extended to teenagers. Now it is being extended, state by state, in fact if not in law, to felons and illegal immigrants. Each European state has its own, somewhat similar, history. Whenever one political faction has power and feels it can strengthen its postion by adding more voters, they do it.

The result everywhere is government by some kind of oligarchy. In the United States it is a professional political class, dependent on special interests for the campaign contributions which keep them in office. Attempts to control the flow of money in politics are no more than window dressing, usually designed to handicap one party or the other with the threat of legal liability, while all players keep up the same old games.

The oligarchies of the West are out of step with the interests of the people. Significant majorities in most countries oppose unlimited and illegal immigration, for which the oligarchs, their putative betters, put them down as rubes. When polled, the people say they are generally queasy about the European project, including the single currency, the New World Order, affirmative action programs and much of the progressive program. Nationalist parties emerge, including the Front National in de Benoist's France, and are widely disparaged by the rest of the political establishment. Yet, the technocrats and the moneyed interests behind them, most of all the banks, seem to survive. They have the power to make the platforms of the major parties all more or less favor them, to exclude "extremist parties" which threaten them, and to coopt independent legislators should they happen to get elected.

As I write, Italy is in gridlock, with what appears to be a genuinely unaligned movement, Beppo Grillo's five-star movement, dead set against the continuance of business as usual. The banks in Cyprus have all collapsed and the people are up in arms. It appears as though the model cannot be sustained.

This brings one to the weakest aspect of the book. For all of its exhaustive list of the shortcomings of democracy, it offers no alternative. There is no evolutionary path away from control by oligarchs who use the structures of democracy to acquire and hold power. This is true as well in Eastern Europe, China, Japan and the Arab world. The alternatives have not changed too much since Plato's time, and none of them are clearly better than what we have now. Churchill was right.
Jonide
Presents the problems with modern secular democracy and how democracy in ancient Greece was more natural and gave people a better sense of belonging. It seems to be a very comprehensive assessment of modern and ancient democracy.
Charyoll
An excellent short work , should be manetory reading for highschool seniors, and really just about everybody in the Western world.
Butius
It is refreshing to have such a practical and historically aware look at democracy's successes and failures. This book cannot really said to be polemic; it contributes to a conversation about democracy that has gone on for thousands of years, and quotes great thinkers on the subject from Plato, to Robespierre, to Tocqueville, to Julius Evola. He shows that the left and right have a lot in common in their misgivings about democracy, and that the definition of democracy has changed over the centuries to move from social responsibility to individualism. Benoist is very much part of the Western tradition, but he'd do well to look at Japan and Korea where democracy is very similar to the Ancient Greek model he suggests.
Efmprof
This is a good book. Certainly worth reading, even if you disagree with de Benoist's thesis about democracy (I am against both modern democracy and the democracy of the ancient Greeks/the democracy the author proposes) because the majority of the book is a critical meditation on liberalism and modern democracy. It has many good quotes that are damning to the current liberal democratic philosophy (and even to his own kind of democracy, which the author tries in vain to refute).

I gave it three stars because the thesis falls short of convincing, however, in many ways it deserves four. And the editor deserves 5 for all he added to the work (countless clarifying notes which he obviously spent a lot of time on).

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