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Liberal And Authoritarian Versions Of Democracy

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Chapter Summary

The US political system ensures choice but not excessive choice, which guarantees stability, but prevents minority ideological views from having impact except through their lobbying efforts. This political system also gives economic growth a kind of sacred quality, making it the touchstone of political compromise, and discourages the kinds of holistic approaches to problems, dealing with many issues simultaneously as well as with the side-effects of proposed solutions, typical of small-scale, gemeinschaft -like societies. There is another way of looking at the difference between competitive, liberal, individualistic societies and non-competitive, authoritarian, collectivistic societies. In collectivistic societies the goals of society are typically those which groups of people can enjoy, while in individualistic societies the goods of society are typically those which individuals enjoy alone.

Keywords: authoritarian societies; gemeinschaft; liberal

10.1163/ej.9789004190276.i-398.24
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