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The Problem of Democracy

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist's book-length political works to appear in English. It presents the complexity and depth which underlies all of de Benoist's work and which is often neglected by those who seek to dismiss him by oversimplifying or distorting his arguments. De Benoist shows how democracy is, contrary to what some critics have claimed ...more
Hardcover, 106 pages
Published January 28th 2011 by Arktos Media Ltd (first published December 1st 1986)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  88 ratings  ·  8 reviews

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Paul Christensen
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This book seeks to cut through the quasi-religious tone surrounding ‘democracy’ and examine what the word actually means.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, everyone has wanted to be seen as ‘democratic’. Stalin’s Constitution of 1936 even proclaimed the USSR a ‘democracy’.

This wasn’t always the case, though, even among leftists. None of the major French revolutionaries used the term, except Robespierre towards the end of the terror (when it didn’t do him much good!).

‘Democracy’ wasn’t a household word until Toqu
Greg Paulson
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I would recommend The Problem of Democracy despite my disagreeing with the thesis. Alain de Benoist, deconstructs, defines and criticizes modern conceptions of democracy and liberalism, then describes and defines ancient democracy and how it could be applied today (which has to be different given the vast difference in population among other things). One thing I liked a lot was how he addresses many of the criticisms of democracy, mass rule, liberalism etc., even offering many good quotes on the ...more
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The analysis of the concept of democracy here is very thoughtful. I would profit from reading it again. It's his best work available in English, I think.

(but who the hell approved that cover design?!)
Laura Crockett
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This tome reminds me of The Feminine Mystique. Why? Because like Friedan's book, de Benoist's book rolls out the issues superbly. Nonetheless, he doesn't have the answers. I found myself agreeing with the issues, and then disagreeing with what he thinks are the remedies for our excessive ideas on how democracies need to operate.

Read the book to get a grasp of what he suggests are the issues with democracy, equality and the post enlightenment world. If you find yourself agreeing with
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An eloquently written academic book that criticises, yes, democracy.

The author draws sources from several historical figures that helped philosophise the ideology that we today have all been taught to support, defend and love.

Some very good arguments are made against democracy, including internal contradictions and it’s unbalanced relationship with ‘liberalism’.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
No matter what an organization claims itself to be practising if it ain't participatory and fraternal it ain't real democracy... and since in this world there exists so many different value systems the species as such can never hope to engage in any democracy beyond a very small scale.
John Smith
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I agree with Greg's review. I found this book negative, mostly critical, while gently begging the questions whether democracy is good and whether anything is truly better.
This review may contain spoilers, depending how you define spoilers. It's topical.
I. The Ancients and the Moderns
II. A Defence of Democracy
III. Popular Sovereignty and Pluralism
IV. The Crisis of Democracy
V. Towards Organic Democracy
POSTFACE: Ten Theses on Democracy

In this valuable book, Alain de Benoist lays out a fairly comprehensive look at the arguments around Democracy, in an easily digestable form. Written in 1985, it is striking how famil
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Depuis plus de trente ans, Alain de Benoist poursuit méthodiquement un travail d'analyse et de réflexion dans le domaine des idées. Ecrivain, journaliste, essayiste, conférencier, philosophe, il a publié plus de 50 livres et plus de 3000 articles, aujourd'hui traduits dans une quinzaine de langues différentes.

Ses domaines de prédilection sont la philosophie politique et l'histoire des
“The promotion of ‘average’ individual causes a general levelling down.” 8 likes
“A collection of errors does not make a truth: quality cannot stem from quantity – a value is not a weight. The reasons of the majority cannot be taken as good reasons.” 2 likes
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