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Trump not the end of democracy, argues new book

Saturday - July 7, 2018 12:04 pm , Category : ART & LITERATURE
 Trump not the end of democracy, argues new book
Trump not the end of democracy, argues new book
New Delhi July 7 (IANS) Ever since the rise of "demagogues and strongmen" particularly US President Donald Trump to the highest seat of power in a democracy the liberals have been expressing fears that the end of democracy may be nearing.
David Runciman a reputed professor of politics at Cambridge in his new book "How Democracy Ends" (Hachette India/249 pages/Rs 599) explores all the "recent dangers" that have been pointed out by people from various walks of life and after a careful examination of such facets instills hope in his readers.
He opens the book by revisiting the past the times when democratic rights of people were subdued and then focuses on polarisation of extreme views in the past. He asks if the situation facing the United States or many other parts of the world for that matter today is a mere repetition of the horror movie that we have seen in the past.
In his scintillating chronicle of our times Runciman maintains that the current situation is not so.
Donald Trump according to the author may be "an old man with the political personality of a child" but he is certainly not "a proto-Hitler". The author contends that the current situation is not similar to the first half of the 20th century in Europe.
Similarly Vladimir Putin according to the book presides over a "parody democracy" in Russia but there are little similarities between him and Stalin. Runciman agrees that these recent symptoms of democratic decay may come across as familiar instances to many of us but according to him the problems facing today are much different in their scope than what had been earlier.
Runciman regrets that representative governments in recent years have lost the capacity to reinvigorate themselves.
But despite all its flaws democracy repairs itself and Runciman acknowledges this fact. One of the facets that he constantly refers to is a democracy s capacity to self-question and self-correct itself every time that it seems to go out of control. Things can go wrong but eventually the democratic process itself will set it right he says.
The book instills hope in readers and maintains that even though things may look pretty messed up right now in many countries primarily the US but eventually they will back in place -- a lesson for future voters.

--IANS ss/vm