Some Progressives Grow Disillusioned with Democracy


Left-leaning authors often maintain that conservatives “hate democracy,” and, historically, this is somewhat true. “The political Right,” maintains the progressive economist and columnist Paul Krugman, “has always been uncomfortable with democracy.”

But today it’s progressives themselves who, increasingly, are losing faith in democracy. Indeed, as the Obama era rushes to a less-than-glorious end, important left-of-center voices, like Matt Yglesias, now suggest that “democracy is doomed.”

Yglesias correctly blames “the breakdown of American constitutional democracy” on both Republicans and Democrats; George W. Bush expanded federal power in the field of national defense while Barack Obama has done it mostly on domestic issues. Other prominent progressives such as American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner have made similar points, even quoting Italian wartime fascist leader Benito Mussolini about the inadequacy of democracy.

Read the whole thing at The Orange County Register.

Joel Kotkin is executive editor of and Roger Hobbs Distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University, and a member of the editorial board of the Orange County Register. He is also executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His newest book, The New Class Conflict is now available at Amazon and Telos Press. He is also author of The City: A Global History and The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050.  He lives in Los Angeles, CA.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Please continue this great

Please continue this great work and I look forward to more of your awesome blog posts.By the way, I know a site where you can get buy some items like silicone baking cups, baking cups, silicone muffin cups and so on in just one click, so here it is try to check this out :

silicone muffin cups

"Instead of enforcing

"Instead of enforcing unanimity from above, the structures of federalism should allow greater leeway at the state level, as well as among the more local branches of government."

I can imagine something like that happening in my new American Zionist manifesto. See States should require that every town and municipality have a republican form of government however, just as the federal government requires of the states.

Some Progressives Grow Disillusioned with Democracy

Overall, I found this a very thoughtful analysis. Clearly, we are reaching a point where top-down decision-making in a society that will be knocking at half a billion people by sometime in mid-century cannot do justice to its populations--increasingly diverse as they are--trying to fit solutions into problems which manifest differently in different places. If that were not enough, today's blue states and red states could become something else over time and as most of us learned long ago, the only constant is change. Just what that something else might be could be something completely different, to paraphrase Monty Python. I wonder about a system which could decentralize to the local community level, and giving communities the power to innovate, consolidate, eliminate, or extrapolate as needed, while having the states and the feds limited to national and state-wide issues such as maintain the larger infrastructure both real and virtual, maintain the larger scale social safety net, ensure the protection of civil liberties for individuals and groups, and require that communities find ways to restore and protect the environment, but without demanding to get into the weeds with every decision. It would also mean that any new localism must empower all people within the given area so that local elites cannot run the show to suit themselves. This is where many current conservatives get into trouble (i.e. I should have the right to exploit or discriminate against those I don't like as long as its local, but woe be unto the feds should they try to tell me to respect all within my area). Liberals or progressives are also at fault as the article notes. Maybe, just maybe, we could use concepts like land-trusts to create affordable, non-speculative housing, allow for employee owned firms to have say over their operations within that locale and even use local community development entities to grow local economies and work to encourage broad-based development through the urban or rural region. Perhaps, it is time to use technology to decentralize the way we do business and let democracy flourish where it flourishes best, locally.

I was very pleased to find

I was very pleased to find this internet-site.I needed to thanks to your time for this excellent read!! I definitely enjoying every little little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.
--buy soundcloud downloads