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on February 15, 2003
Democracy is spoken of as the panacea for the world's woes. Fukuyama's END OF HISTORY seemed to operate just on this premise. Crick's book focuses on democracy's historical evolution, its polyvalent adaptations and its transformation into republicanism. Following his essay from Greece to Rome to American and European democracy, we see how democracy is not necessarily another way of saying just and/or good politics. Most interesting are the final chapters on the conditions needed for a democratic polity and the responsibilities of the individual in a system of democratic citizenship. He ends with a nice quote from Reinhold Niebuhr, "Man's inclination to justice makes democracy possible; but man's capacity for injustice makes it necessary."
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