HOW AN IRON FIST DONNED DEMOCRACY’S VELVET GLOVE
The history of universal suffrage is best understood as a conflict between liberal elites and democractic workers’ movements, according to Domenico Losurdo. John Stuart Mill, for example, argued that electoral influence should be more pronounced among the educated – and wealthy – than among those working with their hands. Every vote ought not to be counted the same. Countries with deep liberal roots have historically been quick to restrain the spread of the franchise, persisting in discrimination based on property, race, and gender. In this context, the rise of popular presidents and premiers, vested with extraordinary powers, has served to stimy attempts to associate politically and mobilize for meaningful change.
This is modern Bonapartism, a soft authoritarianism in which popularity, stirred up by a news media dominated by the interests of the rich, replaces true democratic expression. As alternatives to this system drift toward the horizon, Bonapartism is set to become the dominant political regime of our era. Understanding the history of its development and the contradictory forces behind it may permit us to move towards true democracy.
Praise for LIBERALISM: A COUNTER-HISTORY
‘Losurdo is almost unbelievably well-read’
‘A brilliant exercise in unmasking liberal pretensions, surveying over three centuries with magisterial command of the sources’
- FINANCIAL TIMES
‘Stimulatingly uncovers the contradictions of an ideology that is much too self-righteously invoked’
- PANKAJ MISHRA, GUARDIAN
‘A book of wide reference and real erudition’
- TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
‘The book is a historically grounded, very accessible critique of liberalism, complementing a growing literature critical of liberalism’
Praise for WAR AND REVOLUTION: RETHINKING THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
‘War and Revolution is a relentless document. It is dense and disconcerting. This is precisely why it should be considered one of the most important history books written since 9/11’
- RON JACOBS, COUNTERPUNCH