The Myth of Democracy by Tage Lindbom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am reviewing on the title essay alone here. This is a richly fascinating philosophical essay that examines, as so many do not, democracy as idea, as foundation for a moral order to society, and finds it wanting. To wit, this excellent passage:
"Society is a living organism and properly should be the carrier of a
hierarchy of values, of unshakable spiritual and moral norms; society
is of the qualitative order. But this commonwealth is now threatened
with replacement by a centralized world of bureaucracy whose aim is to
dominate the vacuum that a withering civilization is leaving behind.
The modern industrial and social state is quantitative in nature and,
as centralized bureaucracy, it has no moral norms. The aim of the
modern state is to intervene continuously and to regulate the secular
order wherein sensate interests are increasingly dominant. Once upon
a time, in traditional societies, laws were complements and
confirmations of an order of things that had its profoundest roots in
the spiritual realm and in a social morality deriving from that realm.
Now we see the opposite. A feverish, administering, regulating,
legislating activity becomes unavoidable, and the power of the state
necessarily grows apace. Economic and productive life also calls forth
administrative and bureaucratic pyramids. The scope for responsible
citizenship is steadily eroded; man will become more and more a
Not only this, reader, but more gems await, including facets of Rousseau I have not
seen discussed, the two archetypes of liberty and equality, and so on. While at times a bit too general -- examples are sparse -- and 'assumptive' that a God exists and anchors the moral order (in my view, God does not except as an idea, an ultimate abstraction), it is nevertheless absorbing and thought-provoking. Yes, atheists can profit from reading theistic tracts.
The last two essays, The Idea of Socialism, and Lucifer (I'm thinking of Milton now), await.
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