Democracy as a Constructive Utopia
DOI link for Democracy as a Constructive Utopia
Democracy as a Constructive Utopia book
Democracy as an ideal of self-government by a free sovereign people is not readily compatible with government by representatives. Democracy——as an ideal, a fiction, or a utopia—is a useful means of inspiring political changes that improve freedom and equality; it can also be a potent means of criticizing established political powers and undermining or weakening social and political hierarchies. Attempts to use elections to produce trust in authoritarian regimes tend to fail, because the public is aware that such elections are neither free nor secret and because they usually occur in an atmosphere of fear. The imaginary of the people as an inclusive civic association has been weakened by the increasing consolidation of the imaginary of the nation as a collective ethnic, even tribal, entity. As self-government, democracy is clearly an impractical and, at best, only partly achievable regime in large societies.