30 September, 2020

Nirvana Is Tomorrow

Democracy promises, but defers de liverance. The 'country' prospers, the people suffer in perpetuity.

Nirvana Is Tomorrow

A Puerto Rican friend of mine in graduate school at the University of Chicago in the late 1950s and early 1960s used to mock what he called "the great celebration" that characterised academic discussions of American democracy and substituted for serious analysis of its shortcomings. The academic celebrators arrived on the postcolonial scene as well, directly after the process of decolonisation began, first in India, then all over Asia and Africa. All these celebrators hoped for a bright future for democracy. At the same time, they had concerns about too great a rush to adopt fully democratic principles and practices and felt a need for a double containment to allow any kind of Anglo-American style of democracy to develop and flourish.

One containment, of course, was the famous one, the blockage of Communism or any form of social revolution throughout the developing world. The second was to be internal to each country, irrespective of any real or potential revolutionary threat. Public participation was to be contained...



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