Author: Fareed ZakariaPublisher: Penguin/VikingYear: 2003Language: EnglishPages: 286ISBN/UPC (if available): 067004993X
At a time when democracy is the one political system whose legitimacy is unquestioned, this deeply important book points out the tension between democracy and freedom. It ranges widely through the past and the present to remind us that we can have too much of a good thing.Liberty and Democracy. Two go hand in hand in popular thinking. We believe that the answer to our problems is always more democracy. More democracy means more freedom. But does it? At a time when democracy is the one political system whose legitimacy is unquestioned, this deeply important book points out the tension between democracy and freedom. It ranges widely through the past and the present to remind us that we can have too much of a good thing.In many people's minds, American democracy is the model for the rest of the world. Fareed Zakaria points out that the American form of democracy is one of the least democratic in use today. American government today is more democratic than ever before - and also more dysfunctional. As he examines the world's other great democracies such as those in India and Britain, he comes up with equally arresting insights. For example, he argues that in many parts of the world, the spread of democracy has not produced a corresponding growth in liberty. From Russia to Venezuela to the Palestinian Authority, we see instead a strange creature - the elected autocrat. Societies, particularly in the Arab world, are trapped between repressive dictatorships and fanatical masses. Is there a way out?There is. Fareed Zakaria argues that by restricting our democracy, we enhance our freedom and calls for a restoration of the balance between liberty and democracy. He shows how liberal democracy has to be made effective and relevant for our times. Woodrow Wilson said the challenge of the twentieth century was to make the world safe for democracy. As we enter the twenty-first century, this timely book challenges us to make democracy safe for the world.
INTRODUCTIONThe Democratic AgeA Brief History of Human LibertyThe Twisted PathIlliberal DemocracyThe Islamic ExceptionToo Much of a Good ThingThe Death of AuthorityThe Way OutNotesAcknowledgementsIndex