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John Fonte
Senior Fellow with the Hudson Institute

Increasingly Western elites are calling for an expansion of the meaning of democracy. In Canada, McGill University philosopher Charles Taylor deplores 'the dynamics of democratic exclusion' and calls for a modification of the 'reigning formula' of traditional liberal democracy by recognizing the cultures and perspectives of minorities, women and immigrants as the basis for a new vision. In America, a leading educator, James Banks, declares that 'to create an authentic democratic unum with moral authority and perceived legitimacy, the pluribus (diverse peoples) must negotiate and share power.' ... What is going on here?

Jun. 19, 1999 - from his essay "Back to the future", published in the National Post newspaper, Toronto
As [Alexis de] Tocqueville predicted, the acceptance of abstract utopian thinking has led to the promotion of equality of condition and, thus, to greater centralized and bureaucratic (rather than elected) power. The commonly accepted late 20th-century idea that ethnic and gender groups should be proportionally represented in all occupations at all levels ignores how free people behave. The actual fulfillment of this project of group proportionalism would require a degree of coercion inconsistent with a free society.

Jun. 19, 1999 - from his essay "Back to the future", published in the National Post newspaper, Toronto
At the end of the day, the progressive paradigm of group rights and equality of condition is a utopian construct that is incompatible with the traditional liberal democratic worldview of individual rights, equality of citizenship, and constitutional self-government grounded on an empirically based reason and a realistic concept of human nature. The conflict between the liberty party and the progressive party (as [Alexis de] Tocqueville predicted) will determine the ultimate fate of democracy, equality and liberty.

Jun. 19, 1999 - from his essay "Back to the future", published in the National Post newspaper, Toronto