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Fascism vs. democracy vs. checks and balances:
Karl Popper and the "Open Society"
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2006 Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
There are many advantages to living in a society with both a strong democratic component and strong protection of individual rights.
Admittedly, democracy does have its pitfalls. I wouldn't want to live in a pure democracy - the "tyranny of the majority," as it has been called. Nevertheless, despite all the flaws of democracy, the vast majority of the world's most powerful countries are all ruled by governments with at least a strong democratic component. Furthermore, there are good reasons to believe that both a strong democratic component and strong protection of individual rights are essential to a healthy society in today's world.
For some good explanations of why, see the links below, pertaining to the philosophy of Karl Popper. I don't agree with Popper 100%, but he did make some very good arguments for the advantages of what he called an "open society."
- Remembering Karl Popper by Piers Norris Turner
- Extracts from The Open Society and Its Enemies, Volume 1: "The Spell of Plato," by Karl Popper. Full of typos but worth reading.
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Karl Popper
- Sir Karl Popper
- Open Society Institute
- Popper's return engagement: The open society in an era of globalization