Thursday, October 11, 2007

The end of democracy?

The Economist says the old Cold War language of East and West is not very useful in describing the Europe of today. Good point, especially the rejection of an ill-defined "West" category that I've long been suspicious of: for decades it was just too easy to draw the line of "Western civilization" from Periclean Athens through the Renaissance and whatever parts of 18th or 19th century culture you happened to like, ending of course with yourself.

Similarly, I applaud this column drawing attention to Karl Popper and his The Open Society and its Enemies.

But rejecting the term and concept of "democracy" because of the dishonesty of so many people who claim it? Might as well reject the term "civilization."

Anyway, when has the Economist in its very long history put "democracy" ahead of "free markets" in its list of desirable situations?

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