Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Against the Masses – Varieties of Anti-Democratic Thought Since the French Revolution - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Against the Masses: Varieties of Anti-Democratic Thought Since the French Revolution

Joseph V. Femia


Given the almost universal assumption that democracy is a ‘good thing’, the goal of mankind, it is easy to forget that ‘rule by the people’ has been vehemently opposed by some of the most distinguished thinkers in the Western tradition. The book attempts to combat collective amnesia by systematically exploring the evaluating anti‐democratic thought since the French Revolution. Using categories first introduced by A. O. Hirschman in The Rhetoric of Reaction, it examines the various arguments under the headings of ‘perversity’, ‘futility’, and ‘jeopardy’. This classification scheme makes it poss ... More

Keywords: anti‐democratic thought, democracy, elitism, French Revolution, A. O. Hirschman

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780198280637
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198280637.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joseph V. Femia, author
Liverpool University
Author Webpage

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.