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Democracy Against Itself

Sustaining an Unsustainable Idea

Mark Chou

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Why do some democracies self-destruct?

By their very nature, all democracies have the potential to destroy themselves. But this fact is too rarely documented by acolytles of the system. In the decades since Joseph Goebbels, then Reich Minister of Propaganda, reminded the world that it ‘will always remain one of the best jokes of democracy, that it gave its deadly enemies the means by which it was destroyed’, democrats have quickly forgotten just how precarious a political framework it can be.

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1. Democracy Against Itself
2. Democracy in Athens: Autonomy, Tragedy and Decline
3. Democide in Weimar: Militant Democracy and the Paradox of Self-Defence
4. The Coming Authoritarianism: The State of America’s Democracy
5. China’s New Authoritarianism: A Glimpse at Our Post-Democratic Future?
6. Occupy Democracy: Democracy Against Itself and the Global Occupy Movement

About the Author

Mark Chou is Lecturer in Politics in the Faculty of Education and Arts at Australian Catholic University. He is also the author of Greek Tragedy and Contemporary Politics (Bloomsbury: 2012).


An enormously important book on politics and democracy. What makes it both interesting and brilliant reading is not Chou’s abandonment of democracy but his scorching analysis of how democracy is misrepresented – the perversions and swindles made in its name against its real promise. Read this book and you will never again take democracy for granted.

- Henry A. Giroux, McMaster University and Ryerson University, Canada

Mark Chou reveals the endogenous factors that can make democracy unsustainable. This eloquently written book offers new insights on democratic politics for scholars, students and citizens.

- Nancy S. Love, Professor of Political Science, Appalachian State University

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