Tuesday 1 January 2008

Dysfunctional Democracy

When Democracy Becomes Tired
Excerpt from The Everlasting Man by G K Chesterton (1925)
"If there is one fact we really can prove, from the history we really do know, it is that despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy. As fatigue falls on a community, the citizens are less inclined for that eternal vigilance which has truly been called the price of liberty; and they prefer to arm only one single sentinel to watch the city while they sleep."

Discussion and Reflection
**Could any of our groups/affiliations be functioning like a “tired democracy”, where responsibility is somehow abdicated to a few people who became despots?
**How might despots “disguise themselves in benevolence” a la Machiavelli?
**How might we “misconstrue” strong (appropriate) leadership as being despotic?

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