Ryszard Legutko: The Demon in Democracy

Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies

Encounter Books, 2016 (go buy at encounterbooks.com)

Publisher’s Presentation:

LegutkoRyszard Legutko lived and suffered under communism for decades – and he fought with the Polish anti-communist movement to abolish it. Having lived for two decades under a liberal democracy, however, he has discovered that these two political systems have a lot more in common than one might think. They both stem from the same historical roots in early modernity, and accept similar presuppositions about history, society, religion, politics, culture, and human nature.

In The Demon in Democracy, Legutko explores the shared objectives between these two political systems, and explains how liberal democracy has over time lurched towards the same goals as communism, albeit without Soviet style brutalality.

Both systems, says Legutko, reduce human nature to that of the common man, who is led to believe himself liberated from the obligations of the past. Both the communist man and the liberal democratic man refuse to admit that there exists anything of value outside the political systems to which they pledged their loyalty. And both systems refuse to undertake any critical examination of their ideological prejudices.

About the Author:

Ryszard Legutko is a professor of philosophy at Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland, specializing in ancient philosophy and political theory. His most recent book is on the philosophy of Socrates. He has served as the Minister of Education, Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the late President Lech Kaczynski, and Deputy Speaker of the Senate and is active in the anti-communist movement in Poland. He is currently a Member of the European Parliament, Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of European Conservatives and Reformists, and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

1 Response to “Ryszard Legutko: The Demon in Democracy”


  1. 1 Kristo Ivanov July 18, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Var inte detta något som Tage Lindbom utvecklade för länge sedan – och kanske inte bara i boken “Demokratin är en myt” (översatt till “The myth of democracy”)?


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