Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Future of Freedom by Fareed Zakaria

"Illiberal democracy and home and abroad" is the subtitle. Interesting book, published way back in 2003, but I just saw a copy in our modest Abbie Greenleaf public library. The author is an Indian guy, editor at Newsweek magazine, frequent contributor to Wall St Journal op-ed pages, and talking head on the TV Sunday pundits. He is reasonable guy, smart, well read.
He uses language in non standard ways. For instance to Zacharia, democracy means any regime with universal suffrage. Limited suffrage, as we had in this country in the 18th and 19th centuries doesn't count. Regimes that hold elections count, even if the voters don't get much choice, like Eygpt or Hamas controlled Gaza. In normal usage democracy is any regime with a reasonable degree of personal liberty and an elected leadership even if the suffrage is limited to men, or property holding men.

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