Democracy or Bonapartism: Two Centuries of War on Democracy (Hardcover)

Democracy or Bonapartism: Two Centuries of War on Democracy By Domenico Losurdo, Luciano Canfora (Foreword by), David Broder (Translated by) Cover Image
By Domenico Losurdo, Luciano Canfora (Foreword by), David Broder (Translated by)
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How democracy became a form of soft authoritarian rule

The history of the advent of universal suffrage is a fraught one. As late as the mid-twentieth century, it was still impeded by forms of censitary, racial and sexual discrimination, which proved especially stubborn in countries with the most rooted liberal tradition. Moreover, no sooner had it been achieved than universal suffrage was subject to internal depletion that reduced the exercise of political rights to the acclamation of a leader vested with very wide powers.

In and through a complex historical process, Bonapartism has assumed its current 'soft' form, involving orderly competition and succession and resorting to the iron fist only in emergency situations. The electoral system most conducive to this regime seems to be one involving single-member constituencies. Cutting out organized parties with programmes and, courtesy also of the gigantic concentration of the mass media, depriving the subaltern classes of any political expression, it reduces 'democracy' to a contest between competing leaders, who are the interpreters exclusively oflocal realities or interests, over and above which towers the figure of thenation's charismatic leader. The United States represents the primary country-laboratory of the 'soft Bonapartism' that has also emerged in Italy, and which seems set to become the political regime of our time.

About the Author

Domenico Losurdo is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Urbino, Italy. He is the author of many books in Italian, German, French and Spanish. In English he has published Hegel and the Freedom of Moderns, Heidegger and the Ideology of War, and Liberalism: A Counterhistory.

Praise For…

“Losurdo’s book, fruit of a continuous intertwining of historical investigations and philosophical reflections, not only constitutes a criticism of historical revisionism but also does not want to be just an invitation to look to the past to better understand the century behind us: it contains precious tools for criticising the war ideology that the West seems to want to reinstate today.”
– Stefano G. Azzarà & Leonardo Pecoraro, International Critical Thought (in praise of  War and Revolution)

“War and Revolution: Rethinking the Twentieth Century is a relentless document. It is dense and disconcerting. This is precisely why it should be considered one of the most important history books written since … 9-11.”
– Ron Jacobs, CounterPunch (in praise of War and Revolution)

“Stimulatingly uncovers the contradictions of an ideology that is much too self-righteously invoked.”
– Pankaj Mishra (in priase of Liberalism: A Counter-History), Guardian

Product Details
ISBN: 9781784787318
ISBN-10: 1784787310
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English