Democracy rests on a complex set of values—and many of those values are fading.
There was a minor kerfuffle in the press last week when reporters began picking through the academic writings of David Brat, the Virginian economics professor who bested House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary. Brat had written that “If you refuse to pay your taxes, you will lose. You will go to jail, and if you fight, you will lose. The government holds a monopoly on violence. Any law that we vote for is ultimately backed by the full force of our government and military.” That sentence, “The government holds a monopoly on violence,” was held up by a number of publications—the Wall Street Journal and the New York Daily News among them—as a sign that Brat was some sort of extremist. Of course, that phrase is actually a rather standard definition of a successful government: that there are no forces in the polity other than the government that use force in an organized manner. Governments without a monopoly on the use of force have trouble providing the basic social goods of government—security, order, some semblance of justice—or protecting their citizens’ rights.
An interesting piece, and I encourage you to read it. But the author makes one major error. He describes the cultural roots as fading.
But that implies a natural decay.
In fact, the very (classical) liberal culture that he posits as the foundation of a democracy has been under determined attack by progressive groups for decades. As the progressives have seized control of academia, the media, and vast swaths of popular culture, is it any surprise that their undermining of the cultural foundation is accelerating?