A very short note on despotism

Democracy was once viewed as a counterweight to despotism. Democracy was also once more exclusionary, too.

However, once democratic regimes in North America and France were established in the late 18th century, despotism flourished. How to deal with democratic despotism is at the heart of the conservative-liberal split (socialists embrace democratic despotism).

Conservatives believe a stronger executive “branch” will temper democracy’s excesses, while liberals believe a stronger judicial apparatus will do a better job of keeping democratic despotism at bay. (By “liberals” I mean libertarians.)

Thus Hamilton and Trump argue for a stronger executive branch. Thus Madison and Hayek argue for a stronger judicial branch. Thus Marx and Sanders argue for more power to the people. This is at the heart of all political disagreement, and not just in the United States. Indeed, it’s at the heart of politics itself. Discuss.

Nightcap

  1. Ottoman bird palaces Atlas Obscura
  2. Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism (the 1960s) Barry Stocker, NOL
  3. Liberalism and sovereignty Edwin van de Haar, NOL
  4. Why not world government? Michaelangelo Landgrave, NOL

Nightcap

  1. Inclined to putrefaction (surviving the plague) Erin Maglaque, LRB
  2. Is Trump the low point of conservatism? Rachel Lu, the Week
  3. Friends like these… Jon Baskin, the Point
  4. On commercial density and cheap rent Addison del Mastro, TAC

Nightcap

  1. Can Francis change the Church? Nancy Dallavalle, Commonweal
  2. A Catholic debate over liberalism Park MacDougald, City Journal
  3. Why Hari Seldon was part of the problem Nick Nielsen, Grand Strategy Annex
  4. How not to die (soon) Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias

Nightcap

  1. The waning fortunes of classical liberalism John McGinnis, Law & Liberty
  2. The worst people of 2019 Liza Featherstone, Jacobin
  3. Putin’s Russia, 20 years on Marc Bennetts, Politico
  4. The cubicle archipelago Scott Beauchamp, American Affairs

Nightcap

  1. Why was it believed that the Aztecs greeted Cortés as a deity? Camilla Townsend, Lapham’s Quarterly
  2. Donald Trump’s lackey in front of the Berlin Wall: “walls work” Irfan Khawaja, Policy of Truth
  3. Liberalism according to The Economist Pankaj Mishra, New Yorker
  4. Slow recoveries are deep recoveries, with flatter Phillips Curves Nick Rowe, Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

Nightcap

  1. Why Hayek was wrong about American and European conservatism, I Barry Stocker, NOL
  2. Why Hayek was wrong about American and European conservatism, II Barry Stocker, NOL
  3. Why Hayek was wrong about American and European conservatism, III Barry Stocker, NOL
  4. Why Hayek was wrong about American and European conservatism, IV Barry Stocker, NOL