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Juan Linz is dead and US government is getting worse.





I usually stayed away from politics since the Soapbox got closed but this article, linking the passing of a great political scientist and the present crisis of governance in the US, got me nodding in agreement. So I thought I would share it with you in case you wanted to know what you are up for.

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Thanks for sharing the article, Pavel.


Government is always in crisis in the US and Linz provided a clear view of why that is.  That hasn't always been the case...not when we had a good war to fight.  Then everyone pulled together.  WWII comes to mind.  But, it's been a while since we fought a good war.


Certainly war isn't the best answer to democracy's ills.  Linz has some interesting suggestions, but American politicians have their vested interests and won't be accommodating change any time soon.

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Interesting article. Linz was right about failure of democracy being "driven more by constitutional structure than by culture or economics." The way I see it, living in a free society that respects and supports minority views and ways of life is not the result of having a "democratic government". Absolutely not.  Having a successful democratic government is the end result of a process that has evolved and embedded individual rights and freedoms within the national structures and national institutions - not "government". Things like the legal system [actually, the legal system is the most important one here], and the police "service" - yes, that's right, the police are there to serve the public, not the State. There are many others too. Which is why starting "from scratch" and cobbling together a "democratic government" just doesn't work [Exhibit A:Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt etc etc] Because for "democratic government" to work it has to sit on top of all those embedded individual rights and freedoms. So it's no surprise when you look at countries where "democratic government" has failed - because there was nothing underneath to support it. It's like building a house on sand. The problem is time. It takes time for individual rights and freedoms to evolve and develop within the national structures. In the case of Britain that process took around 1,000 years. That's just too long. But I've not seen an alternative that works well and has been sustained over the long term.

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