Liberal-democracy as a totalitarian system

October 3, 2016

jrkruk_20140225_ryszard_legutko_dsc02046

Rod Dreher drew my attention to Ryszard Legutko’s new book The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free SocietiesI got the book yesterday and I’m making my way through it this weekend.

The thesis of the book is that both communism and liberal-democracy are totalizing systems that consciously attempt to engineer society toward a pre-determined end understood in terms of “progress,” and “modernization.” Both conceive of history as the steady march of progress and therefore both are enemies of memory–attempting to displace tradition as a societal force.

Legutko was a dissident in communist Poland–writing and publishing works critical of the Soviets and their Polish proxies. Trained as a philosopher he is a Professor at a university in Krakow and a Member of the European Parliament.