Wednesday, February 26, 2014

democracy vs. liberty

Steve Walt makes an important distinction in his latest FP article between democratic governments and liberal societies [using the "L" word in its original, 19th century meaning]. He notes that all truly liberal societies are also democratic, the reverse is not true. And he notes how American governments tend to value democratic forms over liberal realities. We want other countries to follow the form of elections and so forth, when what we need most is a society with rule of law and protection of civic rights. That's worth keeping in mind when we outsiders try to help Ukraine fashion a new government.

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