Tag: Liberal Democracy

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Attorney General Barr warns of “totalitarian democracy”

Attorney General Bill Barr

Attorney General Barr gave another important, if willfully underreported, speech. The full text is posted on the Department of Justice website. You can read every word below, with key passages highlighted.

Barr described two conflicting visions of democracy at the root of our current level of social discord, with politics pervasive in all spheres. These two visions are liberal democracy and totalitarian democracy. He then showed how three powerful checks on tyranny have been weakened or turned to the service of consolidating power in a national elite. Attorney General Barr concluded with a note of optimism and a call to action.


This week on Banter, Dr. William Galston joins the show to discuss his new book Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy. Dr. Galston serves as the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. He is a former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton. The book describes populist movements in the United States and Europe and the economic, cultural, and societal factors that led us to this moment. Dr. Galston concludes the book with several policy recommendations that might stem the populist tide and strengthen liberal democracy.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The End of Democracy?


This paper in The Journal of Democracy about the loss of confidence in democracy in the West is extraordinary and horrifying. (h/t First Things.) The authors examined data from the World Values Survey dating back to 1995. What they found startled them:

Three decades ago, most scholars simply assumed that the Soviet Union would remain stable. This assumption was suddenly proven false. Today, we have even greater confidence in the durability of the world’s affluent, consolidated democracies. But do we have good grounds for our democratic self-confidence? At first sight, there would seem to be some reason for concern. …