5 Politics (and Power)

‘Prisoner, tell me, who was it that wrought this unbreakable chain?’‘It was I,’ said the prisoner,’ who forged this chain very carefully.’Rabindranath Tagore

We have come a long way since Tocqueville, a conservative French statesman and observer of American politics of the Nineteenth century, with the memory of the French ancien régime behind him, waxed lyrical over the strengths of American democracy, though ever mindful, like so many then and now, of the dangers of simpliste majority rule (he needn’t have worried; we have learnt to exclude the majority quite successfully). The American revolt against British suzerainty, leading to the birth of this nation was fundamentally a fiscal/commercial matter, with the Colonies ...

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