Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 19, 2019)
Adam Tooze: Democracy and Its Discontents: Weekend Reading

Adam Tooze: Democracy and Its Discontents: Weekend Reading

Il Quarto Stato

Weekend Reading: Adam Tooze: Democracy and Its Discontent: Levitsky and Ziblatt: "Levitsky and Ziblatt['s How Democracies Die has]... a sobering message: 'American democracy is not as exceptional as we sometimes believe. There’s nothing in our Constitution or our culture to immunize us against democratic breakdown'.... The restoration of democratic norms requires building a new consensus. Levitsky and Ziblatt cite the example of Chile.... Augusto Pinochet... was overcome by a new culture of bipartisan cooperation in the so-called Democratic Concertation. In the US today, the problem lies first and foremost with the GOP. It has repeatedly behaved like an anti-systemic party that does not consider itself bound by common democratic norms... Levitsky and Ziblatt point to... Konrad Adenauer’s CDU.... But what relevance does it have to American politics? Can one seriously imagine anyone in the GOP taking lessons from Angela Merkel and her counterparts?... Levitsky and Ziblatt are strikingly naive when it comes to power...

...The overthrow of Chilean democracy in 1973 was not merely a deterioration into extreme partisanship. It was a violent clash over fundamental social and economic reforms... In Germany... it took the absolute defeat of Hitler’s regime.... Their limited, case-by-case comparative approach and their focus on national political institutions and cultures leave such questions of international politics to one side and offer no basis on which to consider the connection between cold war and post–cold war geopolitics and the trajectory of modern democracy...

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