Beyond Democracy to Post-Democracy: Conceiving a Better Model of Governance to Supercede Democracy

Author: Baofu, Peter
Year:2004
Pages:500
ISBN:0-7734-6218-X
978-0-7734-6218-2
Price:349.95
Contrary to the belief of many contemporaries, democracy is as evil and good as non-democracy. This sounds shocking, since democracy (of whatever version) enjoys its triumphant moment in our age, to the effect that there is a widespread belief of democracy, unlike non-democracy, as most congenial to the celebration (not condemnation) of difference. This democratic/non-democratic dichotomy therefore privileges democracy as the highest political achievement of human civilization, such that everywhere there have been endless discussions of how and why different societies and cultures are to adopt it, all in the celebration of difference in our time.

Dr.Baofu, in this wide-ranging work, shows how and why the democratic idea of difference becomes the democratic mystique of difference. His inquiry reveals, in the end, how and why democracy privileges itself by an untenable dichotomy and is essentially contingent on the historical needs of society and the dominant themes of culture in our time. Democracy will not last (to be superseded by what Dr.Baofu originally called “post-democracy”), just as aristocracy before it could not. The difference is that we believe in our version of historical destiny now, just as those before us believed in theirs then, and those after us will believe in theirs in the future.

As an anti-hero of our time, Baofu’s critique against the sacrosanct idea of democracy earns few friends and wins few hearts, in an age where the democratic idea reigns supreme as its god.

Reviews

"It's not often that an innovative thinker comes along to question, in the manner of Socrates, the most strongly held beliefs of Western Civilization. Dr. Peter Baofu, however, is such a person. Coming as he does from the East – an ethnic Chinese born in Viet Nam, who has subsequently lived, studied, and worked in Europe and America for more than a quarter of a century (as of 2003) –, he brings with him an unusual perspective of democracy, that prompts him to observe, as did the boy in Hans Christian Anderson's The Emperor's New Clothes, that reality is not what others perceive.

Western Universities produce over three million graduates a year, who in the course of their studies have focused on the characteristics of democracy and even compared it to other forms of governance. Stories of the earliest embodiments of democracy, focusing on the struggles of heroic combatants in battle with tyrants, in pursuit of an ideal, have evoked the sympathies of generations of readers. In fact, we continue to witness every day, where newly emerging states attuned to the West are rejecting monarchical forms of government as too closely related to the democratic opposite.

And so it is, that Dr. Baofu, a scholar in Political Science, challenges us to conceive a better model of governance to supersede democracy. It's a clarion call to arms to move beyond democracy." - (from the Foreword) Sylvan von Burg, Director, CDC, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Foreword (Sylvan Von Berg)
Acknowledgements
Introduction: The Democratic Idea
Chapter 2: Myth #1 – Democracy Is More Lawful
Chapter 3: Myth #2 – Democracy Is More Truthful
Chapter 4: Myth #3 – Democracy Is More Benevolent
Chapter 5: Myth #4 – Democracy Is More Peaceful
Chapter 6: Myth #5 – Democracy Is More Tolerant
Conclusion: The Democratic Mystique
Bibliography
Index