The Perversity Thesis
The perversity thesis (that democratic reform will bring despotism) is explored through a critical analysis of the thought of its main exemplars: Burke, Maistre, Hegel, and Tocqueville. The thesis is divided into two subcategories, encompassing: (1) those who despised democracy because it violated their romantic vision of an organic society, and (2) those who feared democracy because it would create an atomized, mass society. The latter group of thinkers were less ‘reactionary’, and more willing to compromise with liberal and democratic ideas.
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