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E. H. Carr – Mass democracy starts in the 20th century

January 13, 2015

“To speak today of the defense of democracy as if we were defending something which we know and had possessed for many decades or many centuries is self-deception and sham – mass democracy is a new phenomenon – a creation of the last half-century – which it is inappropriate and misleading to consider in terms of the philosophy of Locke or of the liberal democracy of the nineteenth century. We should be nearer the mark, and should have a far more convincing slogan, if we spoke of the need, not to defend democracy, but to create it.”

(from The New Society [1951])

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