Democracy Against Liberalism
Its Rise and Fall
It should not surprise anyone that democracies can become dangerously illiberal; indeed, it was one of the classical critiques of ancient democracies. Is the contemporary backlash against liberal democracy merely the same old story, or are we witnessing something unprecedented?
In this witty and engaging book, Aviezer Tucker argues that the contemporary revival of authoritarian populism combines the historically familiar with new technologies to produce a highly unstable and contagious new synthesis that threatens basic liberal norms, from freedom of the press to independent judiciaries. He examines how the economic crisis blocked social mobility and thereby awakened the dark, dormant political passions exploited by demagogues such as Orban and Trump. He argues that this slide towards ‘neo-illiberal democracy’ can be countered if we hard-headedly restore a ‘liberalism without nostalgia’ which institutes policies that can dampen down populist passions and strengthen liberal institutional barriers against them.
Readers interested in current affairs, social science, history, and political and social theory will find Aviezer Tucker’s original theoretical and historical analysis incisive, innovative, and entertaining.