Democracy's Dangers & Discontents
Democracy's Dangers & Discontents

Democracy's Dangers & Discontents

The Tyranny of the Majority from the Greeks to Obama


205 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Hardcover, ebook: EPUB, Mobipocket, ebook: PDF

Hardcover, $19.95 (US $19.95) (CA $23.95)

Publication Date: July 2014

ISBN 9780817917944


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By democracy we usually mean a government comprising popular rule, individual human rights and freedom, and a free-market economy. Yet the flaws in traditional Athenian democracy can instruct us on the weaknesses of that first element of modern democracies shared with Athens: rule by all citizens equally. In Democracy's Dangers & Discontents, Bruce Thornton discusses those criticisms first aired by ancient critics of Athenian democracy, then traces the historical process by which the Republic of the founders has evolved into something similar to ancient democracy, and finally argues for the relevance of those critiques to contemporary U.S. policy. He asserts that many of the problems we face today are the consequences of the increasing democratization of our government and that the flaws of democracy are unlikely to be corrected. He argues that these dangers and discontents do not have to end in soft despotism—that American democracy's aptitude and strength can be recovered by restoring the limited government of the founders.

Author Biography

Bruce S. Thornton is a professor of classics and humanities at California State University-Fresno and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on Greek culture and civilization and their influence on Western civilization. He lives in Fresno, California.