How Democracies Die
Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.
Publisher,Random House US
No. of Pages,
The work is well informed and it makes a good read. It is specially interesting in all that concerns American constitutionalism, past and present. The argumentation is focused on the fail-safe procedures and pitfalls of what we currently take for the democratic system, but surprisingly ignores the factor which, in the last instance, is the most important for the preservation of democracy: the people, the voters themselves. You can build all the fail-safes you want into the democratic system to assure its undefeated continuity, but if you have a manipulable pool of voters, a population of mostly simple-minded, uninstructed, reactive people, incapable of thinking by themselves, receptive to the typical lies forged into all-day-long-sounding slogans by crooked politicians if you have that, your democracy is doomed no matter what. There is no democracy without an enlightened “demos”. Without it, all you have is a “demofallacy”. Not taking into account this factor, makes the argumentation of the work very academic, yes, but also very weak, specially in what it has as a warning against the future that awaits us. But no solutions will eventuate if people aren't aware of how deep the problem really is, and for that reason this book deserves to be read widely. I wish this book were required reading of everyone who turns voting age. It's that important. Highly recommended!