The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2003 - Political Science - 286 pages
The Future of Freedom is a groundbreaking work in which Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria presents a penetrating and provocative analysis of the most powerful force sweeping the world - democracy. Tracing the rise of democracy through history, Zakaria reveals why, although democracy has broken down hierarchies, opened up closed systems, and given rise to freedom in some places, it has also fostered chaos, ethnic warfare, and destroyed the very liberties and freedoms it is meant to produce. In The Future of Freedom, Zakaria calls for a re-evaluation of our beliefs in democratic ideals and, in particular, the widely held notion that more democracy means more freedom and a guarantee of greater civil and economic liberties. This book is a call for self-control, for a restoration of the balance between democracy and liberty, Zakaria writes. It is not an argument against democracy. But it is a claim that there can be such a thing as too much democracy; too much of an emphatically good thing.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Newmans2001 - LibraryThing

Hind sight is much easier than foresight, so I tried to read beyond that and current political views, and enjoyed at least the first to 2/3rds of the book very much. He makes a valiant and worthy ... Read full review

THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

User Review  - Kirkus

The problem with democracy is that it lets just about everyone have a say.Or so would go an inelegant rendition of Newsweek International editor Zakaria's more sophisticated argument, which is akin to ... Read full review

Contents

A Brief History of Human Liberty
29
The Twisted Path
59
Illiberal Democracy
89
The Islamic Exception
119
Too Much of a Good Thing
161
The Death of Authority
199
The Way Out
239
Notes
257
Acknowledgments
269
Index
271
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Page 17 - West, democracy has meant liberal democracy — a political system marked not only by free and fair elections, but also by the rule of law, a separation of powers, and the protection of basic liberties of speech, assembly, religion, and property.
Page 7 - As they approached the Sirens' island, the sea was calm, and over the waters came the notes of music so ravishing and attractive that Ulysses struggled to get loose and, by cries and signs to his people, begged to be released; but they, obedient to his previous orders, sprang forward and bound him still faster. They held on their course, and the music grew fainter till it ceased to be heard, when with joy Ulysses gave his companions the signal to unseal their ears, and they relieved him from his...
Page 7 - ... forgotten his native land, and to have reconciled himself to an inglorious life of ease and pleasure. At length his companions recalled him to nobler sentiments, and he received their admonition gratefully. Circe aided their departure, and instructed them how to pass safely by the coast of the Sirens. The Sirens were seanymphs who had the power of charming by their song all who heard them, so that the unhappy mariners were irresistibly impelled to cast themselves into the sea to their destruction.
Page 19 - To have democracy mean, subjectively, "a good government" renders it analytically useless. Constitutional liberalism, on the other hand, is not about the procedures for selecting government, but rather government's goals. It refers to the tradition, deep in Western history, that seeks to protect an individual's autonomy and dignity against coercion, whatever the source — state, church, or society. The term marries two closely connected ideas. It is liberal because it draws on the philosophical...
Page 26 - America! America! God shed His grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea! O beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern, impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!

About the author (2003)

Fareed Zakaria has been called "the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation" (Esquire). He is the Emmy-nominated host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, contributing editor for The Atlantic, a columnist for the Washington Post, and the best-selling author of The Post-American World and The Future of Freedom. He lives in New York City.

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