Features
Featured Essay
Featured Link

Full Collections
Essays (425)
Quotations (6095)
Links (715)
Books (232)

Other Pages
About Us
Authors
Awards
Bookseller Affiliations
Contact Us
Cookies
Editorial Board
Excellent Essays
Excellent Sites
Liberal Magic
Mush Quotations
Our New Look
Privacy Policy
Sign Up!
Submissions
Amazon.com online bookstore
  


Elie Kedourie
1926 - 1992

Modern historian and political philosopher, Fellow of the British Academy, author of Nationalism (1960, Hutchinson) and Politics in the Middle East (1992, Oxford University Press), among others


...democracy, which concerns the source of government authority, entails nothing about participation (which relates to the way in which government is carried on) and it does not imply that the members of a democratic polity are, or ought to be, equal.

[Samuel P. Huntington, Harvard professor of government] speaks as if democracy, 'participation' and egalitarianism necessarily go together. This, of course, is the cant of the age, and one might have hoped it would not have been accepted. For democracy which concerns the source of government authority entails nothing about participation (which relates to the way in which government if carried on); and it does not imply that the members of a democratic polity are, or ought to be, equal.

A case of sorts, shaky and riddled with various absurdities which make it ultimately untenable, has been made out for the progressive taxation of incomes. But how is one to deal with good looks or great native intelligence which raise their possessors above the general condition, but in ways which escape the criteria of the [tax collectors]? Equality requires, in fact, constant and detailed official intervention in the most private affairs, in order for it to be instituted and maintained intervention which must, in turn, involve perpetual disturbance of existing relationships and expectations, and thus perpetual exacerbation of social tensions. Equality which aims at the creation of a more wholesome and peaceable society thus paradoxically leads to querulousness and contention.

1984 - from The Crossman Confessions, Mansell