The New Caesars, Part II
The Demos, the Ochlos, and the People's Will
In Part I, I introduced the term New Caesarism—the term I favor for the populist political trend that’s shaping this century. Today we’ll look at the ideology in more detail.
Language and politics
Particularly among Americans, the word “liberal” has evolved in a peculiar way: It is now, mostly, a synonym for “left-wing.” This transformation leaves Americans without the vocabulary to describe the ideas upon which their country was founded. The words “classical liberal” sometimes serve as a synonym for “liberal,” but the phrase is neither widely understood nor precise. Further confusing matters, the word “democracy” has come to be used as a synonym for “liberal democracy,” as if the fact of elections were sufficient to create a liberal regime.
“Democracy” is a system of governance in which power is vested in the people and exercised by them through a system of representation involving elections. It does not entail liberal democracy. Not only is liberalism distinct from democracy, it’s often in tension with it.
An extremely abbreviated history of liberal democracy
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