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Elites and Democracy's Illusions

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

This article argues that ideologies, which elites utilize for political justification and mobilization, are always misleading guides to what can be accomplished politically. After reviewing how socialism preoccupied and misled elites during the "short" twentieth century, I examine how the ideology of democracy, in which Western elites today have unquestioned faith, conceals a range of fundamental sociopolitical changes and distorts the implications of various major events. The fixation of elites on democracy's illusions is leading – in some respects has already led – to disaster.

Affiliations: 1: Government and Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1087, USA


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