The Problem of Democracy is the first of Alain de Benoist’s book-length political works to appear in English.
Benoist shows how democracy is, contrary to what some critics have claimed, something which has been a part of Western civilization from the beginning. The problem, he says, is not the notion of democracy in itself, but rather the current understanding of the term which, rather than empowering the individual, reduces him to little more than a cog in a machine over which he has no control, and in which the direction is set by politicians with little genuine accountability.
As an alternative, Benoist proposes that effective democracy would mean a return to understanding citizenship as being tied to one’s belonging to a specific political community based on shared values and common historical ties, while doing away with the liberal notion of the delegation of sovereignty to elected representatives. The type of government which is called for is thus a return to the form of government widely understood in antiquity, but which now seems to us to be a revolutionary notion.
1. The Ancients and the Moderns
2. A Defense of Democracy
3. Popular Sovereignty and Pluralism
4. The Crisis of Democracy
5. Towards Organic Democracy
Postface: Ten Theses on Democracy