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By Joseph V. Femia
Given the belief that democracy is a "good thing," the aim of humankind, you possibly can fail to remember that "rule by way of the people" has been vehemently hostile by means of essentially the most distinct thinkers within the Western culture. This booklet makes an attempt to strive against collective amnesia via systematically exploring and comparing anti-democratic idea because the French Revolution.
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Extra info for Against the Masses: Varieties of Anti-Democratic Thought since the French Revolution
37 Burke had nothing but contempt for the individual who sets his own opinions against those of the community. 38 Freeman thinks that Burke is inconsistent, but we can acquit him of contradiction when we bear in mind that he conflates revolution and democracy. 39 To the contrary, it will be infected by the crass hatreds and shallow opinions of its revolutionary masters. Burke sees democracy as mob rule, where the mob is manipulated by a vicious and arrogant elite of parvenus. 37 E. Burke, 175; E.
He is content to see the world as God’s creation, but only if that creation is regarded as a consequence of God’s reason rather than his will. The development of the world should thus be seen as the progressive and logical unfolding of God’s rational plan. Moreover, the Hegelian God is not transcendent and exists solely in and through its creation. Conceived in this way, God is neither mysterious nor arbitrary. Because ordinary mortals share a common rationality with this curiously mundane deity, it follows that they can achieve an unmediated understanding of both themselves and their history through a logical analysis of human thought processes.
58 Man is held up to ridicule by Divine Providence, for in setting out to improve the world radically, he goes radically astray. Swollen with vanity, man imagines that his own will can break through the inexorable laws by which God governs the world. For example, it is in the nature of power that it must always be centralized. Contrary to appearances, a representative system renders the idea of popular rule impossible, since a representative can never be bound by the childish and fluctuating whims of his constituents.
Against the Masses: Varieties of Anti-Democratic Thought since the French Revolution by Joseph V. Femia