The Miscarriage of the Democratic Ideal

“The Miscarriage of the Democratic Ideal.” Encounter (March 1978).


“It is no longer possible to ignore that more and more thoughtful and well-meaning people are slowly losing their faith in what was to them once the inspiring ideal of democracy. This is happening at the same time as, and in perhaps partly in consequence of, a constant extension of the field to which the principle of democracy is being applied. But the growing doubts are clearly not confined to these obvious abuses of a political ideal but concern its true core. Most of those who are disturbed by the loss of trust in a hope which has long guided them, wisely keep their mouths shut. But my alarm about this state makes me speak out.”