The Rise of Universal Liberal Values?
Democracy is one thing, and constitutional liberalism quite another. In the inexorable march of modernity, Fareed Zakaria argues in The Rise of Illiberal Democracy, the message of constitutional liberalism has gotten lost in the clamor for democracy. This is problematic because, without a strong foundation of pluralism and constitutional liberalism, the apparatus of democracy can easily be hijacked by forces that hardly espouse the liberal values that have, in the Western mind, become transparently conflated with democracy. The fact that liberal constitutional democracy has become the unmarked case for Western pundits serves and most likely will continue to serve, Zakaria points out, as a …show more content…
It is just this arrangement that Zakaria finds problematic. There is a fundamental tension between democracy and constitutional liberalism: democracy is about the accumulation of power, while constitutional liberalism takes up the limits to that accumulated power (140). Democracy without constitutional liberalism lacks the protections for the people that make it an agreeable form of government by Western standards. It is precisely this type of government which Zakaria sees gaining ground around the world, in such politically problem-plagued places as Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and the former USSR (134,138). Where there is evidence that constitutional liberalism may eventually provide for stable democracy as well, there is no indication that the reverse is true (138). Countries with emergent illiberal democracies elect leaders that then proceed to ignore the rights of the people and the governmental framework within which they are supposed to operate, in effect consolidating and absconding with the power given them by the people (138), clearly not an ideal situation.
Zakaria finds fault with the society of states for tolerating this behavior. He correctly points out that democracy has become "part of the fashionable attire of modernity" (153). These
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In the article “Democracy in Decline: How Washington Can Reverse the Tide,” the author, Larry Diamond, details the declination of democracy across the world as a global issue. Diamond explains that, following the Cold War, democracy became vibrant across the world. However, it slowly began to decline, which was seen in Kenya, Russia, Thailand, and Turkey. Additionally, other non-democratic states, particularly authoritarian regimes, are drifting further away from democracy, becoming less responsive to their people. Diamond explains that these authoritarian states are becoming less open because they are increasing their censorships and are arresting those who resist. Furthermore, these governments are also restricting organizations from outside communications and operations. Nearly a hundred laws have been enacted in the past four years restricting freedom of assembly in governments across the world.
Fareed Zakaria’s The Rise of Illiberal Democracy is an article discussing his point of view about illiberal and liberal democracies. He explains how democracy is now simply viewed together with liberalism altogether and how they went hand in hand with the writing of our constitution. This article informs you about how the mix of liberalism and democracy seems to have affected the Civil Rights Movement. He informs the reader about how illiberal democracy can lead to disputes, and disagreements which could lead to a civil war and even genocide. With the Civil Rights Movement, the use of liberties the blacks did have were used efficiently to accomplish desegregation in most aspects of life.
Typically Liberalism can be categorized into two different strands, Classical and Modern (yet some thinkers advocate a third strand that is referred to as Neo-Liberalism), each characterized by their differing and to some extent unavoidably overlapping attitudes regarding the theory behind the ideology and how it should be put into practice. Prior to examining how these relate to one another and before making any comparisons, it is important to give a definition, as best as possible, of Liberalism as a concept.
Muckrakers were investigative journalists who uncovered corruption and mistreatment by the developing big money organizations and politicians. In regards to public relations, the emphasis was placed on the unwanted publicity of corporations and politicians controlled by well-known robber barons. Those corporations reaction to the muckrakers lead to increased public relations in the early 1900’s. These muckrakers presented a newly evolving mass media, consisting of newspapers and magazines, which could turn the public’s opinion and policies against those corporations and politicians. Those same corporations and politicians would then hire specific public relation experts to show their side of the muckraker’s story to the court of public opinions. The muckrakers played an essential role to the world of journalism and public opinion in exposing corruption in politics and political machines in the early 20th century/progressive era. Most of those journalists were part of a grander social movement to elicit change during a rocky social time in United States’ history (Gorman). It is essential to start any informative information of muckrakers by exhibiting the social conditions of progressivism.
The idea represents how democracy has always been considered to be an inferior system in which one tosses aside without giving much thought. No one has raised democracy or corrected its wrongs as it was forced to grow on its own similar to a child with no parents. While many seemed ignorant of its possibilities, democracy was still able to grow and find its own source of power and strength. While it is the responsibility of the legislators to educate and correct democracy, the legislators will often attempt to destroy the idea of its
Americans seem to have lost any sense whatsoever of what liberalism means and what it strives to insure. Liberals have insisted that tyranny can only be combated by the multiplication and fragmentation of power. A free society is one in which there are various centers of power, various positions from which people have the ability to influence decisions. That’s the whole point behind creating three branches of government, the vaunted “separation of powers.” Liberalism aims to insure peace and prevent tyranny in pluralistic societies. Liberalism strives to place lots of individual actions outside the pale of politics and beyond interference from the state or other powers. And, culturally, it strives to promote tolerance, where tolerance is,
Looking at the United States in 1965, it would seem that the future of the liberal consensus was well entrenched. The anti-war movement was in full swing, civil rights were moving forward, and Johnson's Great Society was working to alleviate the plight of the poor in America. Yet, by 1968 the liberal consensus had fallen apart, which led to the triumph of conservatism with the election of President Reagan in 1980. The question must be posed, how in the course of 15 years did liberal consensus fall apart and conservatism rise to the forefront? What were the decisive factors that caused the fracturing of what seemed to be such a powerful political force? In looking at the period from 1968 to the
Democracy: A political system in which citizens enjoy a number of basic civil and political rights, and in which their most important political leaders are elected in free and fair elections and accountable under a rule of law (26). In the studies we have undertaken, comparing and exploring various countries and systems politically, economically, and psychologically throughout the quarter, this outcry of democracy has prevailed as a main theme. Successful countries such as the United States and Great Britain are based upon such democratic ideals. It is no wonder that countries have striven more recently toward this goal of democratization. Both the Russian and Mexican revolutions prove that democracy is an attainable goal in the next
Many ancient regimes throughout the world teased with the idea of basic personal rights and elections , but not until the 6th century did this form of government become a legitimate way to exercise a country's control. The earliest traces of democracy can be seen in Ancient Greece, “the birthplace of democracy”, which can be attributed for democracy through their radical political ideas. Since then the idea of democracy has slowly grown, and in some countries decayed into another form of government. Without this evolution and radical thinking where would our country be today? Would we be living in a country that allows our leader to get away with murder? A communist government led by a corrupt leader or system? Democracy did
The United States is perhaps the most well known examples of a democratic society in the modern world. In spite of this, it is largely flawed and rife with divergences from the true definition of democracy. First, the power is not in the hands of the people nearly as much as it is claimed to be. In contemporary America, “the influence of money undermines the one-man one-vote ideal. Gerrymandering renders most congressional elections utterly uncompetitive” (R.L.G. 1).
Going back the road, to the distressing aftermath of World War One, there arose many questions about progressive political coordination of man and if civilization as they knew it then, was one of man’s greatest achievement or a revelation of his weaknesses. Growing questions about democracy were of raveling the minds of every citizen. America as a republic then, had suffered traumatic pains from several civil wars and political corruption and many feared the emergency of the “tyranny of the fifty one percent”. American democracy seemed to have suffered a blow from the start as it was considered as a fragile ideal. In
Thinking about the Conservative-Liberal Continuum makes me extremely muddled. This makes confused because, I really don’t know where I stand? Personally, it feels as if I am stuck dead in the middle between the two. However, I will agree with the Conservatism approach the most. Why? I really feel that the government should provide minimal interference with other people’s lives. I feel this way because, there are some things that people should interfere with, and there are other situation’s that people shouldn’t involve their self in. Other reasons why I agree with the Conservation approach will have to be, some of the fascinating things the other said. According to the author, “generally feel that change results into more trouble than it’s worth, so it’s best to leave things the way they are” (Kirst-Ashman,).
one essential conviction, expressed in the word democracy itself: that power should be in the hands of the people. Although democracy today has been slightly inefficient in this idea, with the wealthy, elite class challenging this right, “it nevertheless claims for itself a fundamental validity that no other kind of society shares….” To completely understand the structure of democracy, one must return to the roots of the practice itself, and examine the origins in ancient Greece, the expansion in the Roman Empire, and how these practices combined make what we recognize as today’s democratic government.