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Democracy is not inherently good, Zakaria (From Wealth to Power) tells us in his thought-provoking and timely second book. It works in some situations and not others, and needs strong limits to function properly. The editor of Newsweek International and former managing editor of Foreign Affairs takes us on a tour of democracy's deficiencies, beginning with the reminder that in 1933 Germans elected the Nazis. While most Western governments are both democratic and liberal-i.e., characterized by the rule of law, a separation of powers, and the protection of basic rights-the two don't necessarily go hand in hand. Zakaria praises countries like Singapore, Chile and Mexico for liberalizing their economies first and then their political systems, and compares them to other Third World countries "that proclaimed themselves democracies immediately after their independence, while they were poor and unstable, [but] became dictatorships within a decade." But Zakaria contends that something has also gone wrong with democracy in America, which has descended into "a simple-minded populism that values popularity and openness." The solution, Zakaria says, is more appointed bodies, like the World Trade Organization and the U.S. Supreme Court, which are effective precisely because they are insulated from political pressures. Zakaria provides a much-needed intellectual framework for many current foreign policy dilemmas, arguing that the United States should support a liberalizing dictator like Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf, be wary of an elected "thug" like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and take care to remake Afghanistan and Iraq into societies that are not merely democratic but free.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Newsweek International's editor exposes the down side of democracy, i.e., the assumption that what's popular is right.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A scholarly work that is well written and easy to understand even though the reader may not be a scholar. Five stars .Published 1 month ago by John J Stanton
Was written a while ago and much of what appeared likely at the time of writing has not worked out.Published 1 month ago by John Archer
Mr.Zakaria's simple and clear words always invite us to the deep understanding of what we have to value today for realising better life.Published 3 months ago by Seiichiro Shimakawa
A friend of mine had a college professor in the ’70s who was an avowed Marxist. The question of the college course was, if China and Western Europe were on a par with each other... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ricardo Mio
The edges were kind of worn out, as well as the cover. It didn't look "New".Published 4 months ago by Gino Tarabotto
WOW! What a totally engaging book! It is amazing how humankind keeps making the same mistakes over and over again... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Valerie M Saunderson