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Já por aqui deixei o que penso sobre as duas grandes tradições da democracia, nomeadamente, a tradição anglo-saxónica e a francesa. Hoje, aproveito para deixar uma breve passagem de um ensaio de John  Gray, intitulado "George Soros and the Open Society", incluído na sua obra mais recente, Gray's Anatomy:

 


 

"During much of the last century it seemed that the capture of power by irrational systems of belief could occur only in dictatorial regimes. Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union were closed societies whose ruling ideologies could not be exposed to critical scrutiny. Given the success of liberal democracy in defeating its rivals and spreading throughout much of the world it was easy to assume that it has a built-in rationality that gives it advantage over any kind of authoritarianism. Open societies were liberal democracies, almost by definition, and it seemed they would come into being wherever dictatorship had been overthrown.

 

Soros is clear that this was much too simple a view:

 

The collapse of a closed society does not automatically lead to an open society; it may lead to continuing collapse and disintegration that is followed by some kind of restoration or stabilization. Thus a simple dichotomy between open and closed society is inadequate ... Open society [is] threatened from both directions: too much liberty, anarchy, and failed states on the one hand; dogmatic ideologies and authoritarian or totalitarian regimes of all kinds on the other.

 

In fact, Popper's taxonomy may need a more fundamental revision than Soros has yet realized. When closed societies collapse but fail to make the transition to openness the reason need not be that thet languish in anarchy or suffer a return to dictatorship. It may be that they adopt an illiberal form of democracy. Along with the liberal democratic tradition that goes back to Locke and the English civil war there is a tradition, originating in the French Revolution and formulated theoretically by Rousseau, which understands democracy as the expression of popular will. The elective theocracy that is emerging in much of post-Saddam Iraq is a democractic polity in the latter sense, as is the current regime in Iran; so is the Hamas government in Palestine.

 

To be sure, these regimes often lack freedom of information and expression and legal limitations on government power, which are essential features of democracy in the liberal tradition. In these respects, they are closed societies; but they are not dictatorships. It is often forgotten that democracy, defined chiefly by elections and the exercise of power in the name of the majority, can be as repressive of individual freedom and minority rights as dictatorship - sometimes more so."

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publicado às 01:00


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De Manuel Pinto de Rezende a 30.08.2010 às 07:13

tive este livro na mão, mas preferi comprar o novo do Hobsbawm...

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