Quotable (#162)

The Left-Liberal agony:

There’s more to a democracy than just the holy scripture of the constitution — there are also sacred numbers: election results. Together, words and numbers mold a country’s politics. In this process, the constitution is the constant while election represent a dynamic element. In the near future, this could also present a problem in several places: Election results are expected to deliver the wrong numbers. In Austria, a right-wing populist might get elected president. This could also happen in the United States. Germany’s AfD and France’s Front National have also attracted strong minority followings. A right-wing populist brush fire has become conceivable.

It wasn’t so very long ago that regime legitimation through popular will seemed like a great idea to just about everybody. Now it’s looking disturbingly like a blank check, in the hands of an unpredictable maniac.

(On the Outer Right, of course, the historical diagnosis is quite straightforward: Democracy first destroys the people, and then falls prey to them. The Ancients would have found it odd that anybody could imagine this to be a new idea.)

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