Walid's Wanderings

Reflections on life, good-and-evil, family, humanity, and anything else that occurs to me, usually when I travel. Right now I am on a 6-year trip through Lebanon, the homeland I had never really lived in before.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Karl Popper

By sheer concicence, I ran across the following passage in my work-related reading. Isn't my job the best?
We may distinguish between two main types of government. The first type consists of governments of which we can get rid without bloodshed — for example, by way of general elections; that is to say, the social institutions provide means by which the ruler may be dismissed by the ruled, and the social traditions ensure that these institutions will not easily be destroyed by those who are in power. The second type consists of governments which the ruled cannot get rid of except by way of a successful revolu tion — that is to say, in most cases, not at all. I suggest the term `democracy' as a short-hand label for a government of the first type, and the term 'tyranny' or 'dictatorship' for for second. This, I believe, corresponds closely to traditional usage. But I wish to make clear that no part of my argument depends on the choice of these labels; and should anybody reverse this usage (as is frequently done nowadays [emphasis mine]), then I should simply say that I am in favour of what he calls `tyranny', and object to what he calls `democracy'


  • At 7/12/06 2:04 AM, Blogger Crimzon Stripes said…

    The Open Society and Its Enemies.

    I recommend reading "The Poverty of Historicism" for Popper.

    Thanks for the comment Walid.

  • At 7/12/06 10:28 AM, Blogger Walid said…

    I'm savoring all two volumes of "The Open Society and its Enemies" right now, and I plan to go for "Logic of Scientific Discovery" next, but by Christmas maybe I'll get around to your recommendation. Thanks :).


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