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Against the MassesVarieties of Anti-Democratic Thought Since the French Revolution$
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Joseph V. Femia

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198280637

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198280637.001.0001

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The Jeopardy Thesis

The Jeopardy Thesis

(p.110) 4 The Jeopardy Thesis
Against the Masses

Joseph V. Femia (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

According to the jeopardy thesis, democracy will endanger or even destroy values that we hold dear: cultural excellence, freedom, and economic prosperity. The proponents of the jeopardy thesis are many and various, ranging from proto‐fascists (Nietzsche, Maurras) and conservatives (T.S. Eliot, Ortega y Gasset) through to progressive liberals (J.S. Mill) and laissez‐faire liberals (Hayek). It is concluded that they were unduly alarmist and underestimated democracy's ability to adapt to other values.

Keywords:   democracy, T.S. Eliot, freedom, Ortega y Gasset, Hayek, jeopardy thesis, Maurras, J.S. Mill, Nietzsche

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