"liberal democracy"

James A. Landau <JJJRLandau@netscape.com> JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Thu Jan 5 22:48:49 UTC 2012

On Wed, 4 Jan 2012 15:16:00 zone plus 0000 (Z time?) "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU> wrote:

<quote>I assume Turkey can be classified as a conservative democracy, and probably various countries in Eastern Europe as well.  The results of the Arab spring, if the democratic aspects of it last, will be very conservative democracies.  And what is the United States itself if not a conservative democracy?  I assume the US would be very happy with a conservative democracy in Korea.

Your post leaves me with several questions:
1.  What do you mean by "conservative democracy"?
2.  If by "conservative democracy" you mean an oligopoly run by big business, then do you mean to include the word "democracy"?
3.  If you construe "liberal" in the Napoleonic-era sense, then "conservative" would refer to those who prefer a monarchial or aristocratic goverment, in which case "conservative democracy" is an oxymoron.
4.  If you construe "conservative" (as many people do) as pro-business, then the corresponding definition of "liberal" is "pro-xxx" or perhaps "anti-xxx".  What should "xxx" be?
5.  Would the US be "very happy" with a liberal democracy (your definition) in Korea?
6.  As there is a possibility that North Korea will become part of the existing South Korea, we need a statement as to how to classify the existing government in South Korea.
7.  Does the fact that the United States does NOT have either direct or parliamentary aelection of the executive mean that that the United States is not a democracy?

    - James A. Landau

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