The Trouble
with Democracy

A Citizen Speaks Out
William D. Gairdner


The Trouble with Democracy shows that the ancient as well as American and Canadian democracies were established on practical social and political grounds vastly different from the strange modern dream of a democracy of autonomous individuals that is now venerated everywhere.

Gairdner explains clearly how, in this time of heretofore unimagined wealth and the tax harvesting that it makes possible, warring utopian impulses from deep within our history have combined to produce a form of “hyperdemocracy” never before imagined in all of human history. The result is a comfortable illusion of increased personal freedom that camouflages the reality of pervasive state control in every aspect of modern life.

We now live, says Gairdner, under a regime of “libertarian socialism” in which citizens imagine they have all the rights and their governments all the duties.

This masterpiece of vigorous, compelling, even prophetic writing represents an exciting turning point in social thought. It challenges citizens to reconsider standard interpretations of democracy and to think much more deeply about the nature, subtlety, and complexity of our actual situation, all the while offering a new and refreshing understanding of the proper nature of a free and civil society.