A Thought on Tunisia

Paradoxically it’s sometimes (and under certain conditions) easier to topple an authoritarian regime than a formally ‘democratic’ one, one which doesn’t claim a democratic mandate than one which does. It’s a myth that authoritarian regimes are the most stable and inflexible. In a sense they are more precarious because they rely on direct and overt shows of violence and repression that are better concealed in non-authoritarian regimes. It’s one of the great insights of the early Frankfurt School thinkers that in the wake of 1917 many states realised that introducing mass democracy, representative democracy, widening the suffrage, would be a more effective way to thwart revolution than were they to be openly authoritarian and crush the discontented masses. Representative democracy would be the way to more effectively channel and frame the democratic demand, neutralise the call for full ‘direct’ democracy and revolutionary economic change.

2 thoughts on “A Thought on Tunisia

  1. Pingback: On Tunisia « zunguzungu

  2. Pingback: Tunisia and the so-called ‘Twitter Revolution’ « The Berkeley Blog

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