Sunday, April 02, 2006

Debunking the judicial activism meme

I'm out of town at the moment, and won't have a chance to blog for another day or so, but while I'm gone, I'd like to direct your attention to this article from political scientist (and former pupil of Leo Strauss) Shadia Drury, who explains that current attacks on the judiciary are part of a larger attempt to subvert the democratic process itself. In short, neoconservatives plan to use populism to vote out liberal democracy.

In my view, the neoconservative enthusiasm for radical democracy has two sources. First, it is rooted in the hope and the gamble that the people are likely to be more conservative than their "parchment regime"—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. And if the last two presidential elections are any indication, this may well be true. Second, neoconservatives are hostile to America’s liberal traditions. They are smart enough to recognize that there is a gulf between democracy and liberty, and that the former can be used to defeat the latter. They are clever enough to grasp the self-refuting nature of democracy.

Conservatives understand that people are vulnerable to manipulation and can easily be made to turn against their own liberties. If the people can be convinced that liberty leads to licentiousness, children out of wedlock, drug addiction, prostitution, and rampant crime, and if they can be convinced that liberty also undermines national security, they will gladly rid themselves of liberty. In short, the neoconservative enthusiasm for democracy has its source in the very real possibility that democracy can be the most powerful instrument in the destruction of the liberal regime

1 comment:

Psyberian said...

Thought- provoking. Thanks.