A borderless world essay

Since last Friday I have been angry. I began by feeling angry towards those who voted Leave, all those who campaigned on that side.

A borderless world essay

Democracies end when they are too democratic. Zohar Lazar when they are too democratic. And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny.

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It has unsettled — even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school. The passage is from the part of the dialogue where Socrates and his friends are talking about the nature of different political systems, how they change over time, and how one can slowly evolve into another.

And Socrates seemed pretty clear on one sobering point: Democracy, for him, I discovered, was a political system of maximal freedom and equality, where every lifestyle is allowed and public offices are filled by a lottery.

And the longer a democracy lasted, Plato argued, the more democratic it would become. Its freedoms would multiply; its equality spread. The freedom in that democracy has to be experienced to be believed — with shame and privilege in particular emerging over time as anathema.

But it is inherently unstable. As the authority of elites fades, as Establishment values cede to popular ones, views and identities can become so magnificently diverse as to be mutually uncomprehending. There A borderless world essay no kowtowing to authority here, let alone to political experience or expertise.

A borderless world essay

The very rich come under attack, as inequality becomes increasingly intolerable. Patriarchy is also dismantled: The foreigner is equal to the citizen.

And it is when a democracy has ripened as fully as this, Plato argues, that a would-be tyrant will often seize his moment. If not stopped quickly, his appetite for attacking the rich on behalf of the people swells further.

He is a traitor to his class — and soon, his elite enemies, shorn of popular legitimacy, find a way to appease him or are forced to flee. Eventually, he stands alone, promising to cut through the paralysis of democratic incoherence.

He pledges, above all, to take on the increasingly despised elites. And as the people thrill to him as a kind of solution, a democracy willingly, even impetuously, repeals itself. And as I watched frenzied Trump rallies on C-SPAN in the spring, and saw him lay waste to far more qualified political peers in the debates by simply calling them names, the nausea turned to dread.

A borderless world essay

And when he seemed to condone physical violence as a response to political disagreement, alarm bells started to ring in my head. Plato had planted a gnawing worry in my mind a few decades ago about the intrinsic danger of late-democratic life.

Or am I overreacting? In the wake of his most recent primary triumphs, at a time when he is perilously close to winning enough delegates to grab the Republican nomination outright, I think we must confront this dread and be clear about what this election has already revealed about the fragility of our way of life and the threat late-stage democracy is beginning to pose to itself.

Plato, of course, was not clairvoyant. His analysis of how democracy can turn into tyranny is a complex one more keyed toward ancient societies than our own and contains more wrinkles and eddies than I can summarize here.

His disdain for democratic life was fueled in no small part by the fact that a democracy had executed his mentor, Socrates.

And he would, I think, have been astonished at how American democracy has been able to thrive with unprecedented stability over the last couple of centuries even as it has brought more and more people into its embrace.

It remains, in my view, a miracle of constitutional craftsmanship and cultural resilience.JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.

Since last Friday I have been angry. I began by feeling angry towards those who voted Leave, all those who campaigned on that side.

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The New World Border is a carnivalesque inversion of ethnic and geo-political ideology, a disorienting free-fall into the space between cultures, and a head-on collision with the real and imagined borders that separate North and South.. Hero of a thousand syncretic faces – intercultural interpreter, reverse anthropologist, experimental linguist, and political artist of the first order.

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