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Book recommendation. "How Democracies Die"

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Book recommendation. "How Democracies Die"

Old 08-26-2023, 06:29 AM
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The United States is a Constitutional Republic, not a pure Democracy.

A Democracy has been likened to 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what is for lunch.

A Constitutional based Republic protects the rights of the minority, both those on the left and those on the right.
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Old 08-27-2023, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MaxQ View Post
Would like to recommend the book "How Democracies Die" by Stephen Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.
Copyright 2018

I recommended this book in the Majors-Delta-Book Rec thread as well. In it I made a request, if one feels compelled to comment, to come to this thread in Hangar Talk, rather than hijack the mentioned book rec thread on the Delta page.

The book is succinct and an easy read. It speaks briefly to a number of pathologies affecting our Democracy without going into great depth on any of them. Since each of the problems would require their own book to treat them adequately, I felt this work hit a nice balance.
Also, it minimizes the "both sides" argument. It has some very definite conclusions while avoiding being a polemic. This IS NOT a fear and rage book.
It is a 'we have problems, this is how they have come to be, what should we do about them?' type of book. Spock would probably like their way of approaching the issue(s).
Avoiding being polemical is hard to swallow when one of the authors states:
Levitsky identifies two objectives of the book: One is defeating Trump and the other is shoring up our democracy. Finally, they suggest that the effect of the Trump presidency could be a mild form of "competitive authoritarianism.”

Reading anything is better than not reading, but one always has to understand the authors intent. These are two Harvard professors who couldn’t accept that Trump won in 2016. That doesn’t mean they don’t have some important points, they do, but it is definitely a politically motivated book.

F.A. Hayek writes extensively about the principles the US was founded on, specifically the English Individualism developed by Locke, Hume, Burke and Adam Smith. Adam Smith’s chief concern “was not so much with what man might occasionally achieve when he was at his best but that he should have as little opportunity as possible to do harm when he was at his worst.”

The principles Hayek extols in his book “Individualism and Economic Order” are a worthwhile read.
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