The Price of Democracy

The Price of Democracy

For many of us, democracy is seen as an unalloyed good, the only conceivable form of government. However, history tells us that all forms of government have their day, until they are swept away when their characteristic excesses become unbearable.

Ross Douthat reminds us that democracy and nationalism are a particularly potent combination:

More important, though, this is a familiar story for the modern world as a whole — a case of what National Review’s John Derbyshire calls “modernity versus diversity.” For all the bright talk about multicultural mosaics, the age of globalization has also been an age of unprecedented religious and racial sorting — sometimes by choice, more often at gunpoint. Indeed, the causes of democracy and international peace have often been intimately tied to ethnic cleansing: both have gained ground not in spite of mass migrations and mass murders, but because of them.

It is easy to forget that German people lived everywhere in Eastern Europe until Stalin sent them all packing. Once they were all gone, there wasn't as much to fight about anymore.