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Democracy, violence, etc.

May 1, 2013

A couple of statements I found interesting in Crick’s Democracy: A Very Short Introduction:

We too readily think that if it pulls in that path of violent revenge it cannot possibly be ‘democracy’, or we invoke not a goddess but an adjective – say ‘true democracy’.” (p.21)

The American War of Independence was neither a revolution nor fought for democracy, but it was to have revolutionary and democratic consequences. The British system of government in the decades before the war made no pretence whatever to be [-p.43] democratic. There was agitation, very much helped by the example of stirrings in the 13 colonies, for a more equal representation in parliament of what the libertine, demagogue and reformer John Wilkes called ‘the middling men’. Most of their leaders, himself, indeed, regarded themselves, with varying degrees of sincerity and cynicism, as ‘tribunes of the people’ but not of the people.” (pp.42-43)

Ref: (italics in original, emphases in blue bold mine) Bernard Crick (c2002) Democracy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press: Oxford


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