By Charles Kurzman
In the last decade earlier than global struggle I, a wave of democratic revolutions swept the globe, eating greater than 1 / 4 of the world’s inhabitants. Revolution reworked Russia, Iran, the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Mexico, and China. In each one case, a pro-democracy move unseated a long-standing autocracy with startling velocity. The nascent democratic regime held elections, convened parliament, and allowed freedom of the click and freedom of organization. however the new governments failed mostly to uphold the rights and freedoms that they proclaimed. Coups d’état quickly undermined the democratic experiments.
How will we account for those unforeseen democracies, and for his or her speedy extinction? In Democracy Denied, Charles Kurzman proposes that the collective agent such a lot without delay accountable for democratization used to be the rising type of recent intellectuals, a gaggle that had received a world identification and a near-messianic experience of challenge following the Dreyfus Affair of 1898.
Each bankruptcy of Democracy Denied makes a speciality of a unmarried attitude of this tale, protecting all six instances by way of studying newspaper debts, memoirs, and govt stories. This completely interdisciplinary remedy of the early-twentieth-century upheavals delivers to reshape debates concerning the social origins of democracy, the explanations of democratic cave in, the political roles of intellectuals, and the foreign movement of ideas.
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Extra resources for Democracy Denied, 1905-1915: Intellectuals and the Fate of Democracy
In Iran and the Ottoman Empire, lay intellectuals attempted to forge an alliance with progressive religious scholars. ”7 The second boundary was set by the intellectuals’ definition of themselves as outside the realm of capitalist production. By this definition, intellectuals were not so much a class, in the economic sense of having a relationship to the means of production, as an anticlass. If workers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries organized around their common economic position, so did intellectuals—only their position was one of detachment from the means of production.
Malkum Khan: “some uninformed mullas [religious leaders] say that if these ministers are removed then there will be no one left to talk to foreign governments and that then all will be lost. God save us from ignorance! . ” Prodemocracy activists argued that the “the intellectuals of the country” should be in charge of the country in a democratic system. ”38 Yet the prodemocracy intellectuals, naturally, preferred more often to emphasize the coincidence of their own interests and the interests of the nation as a whole.
In addition, Comte considered the savants to be the only group with the popular authority to gain the people’s consent for the new ideology. 3 These statements by Comte contain many of the themes that would mark the intellectual class mobilization of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These themes included the following: • the definition of intellectuals as a discrete social group (Comte distinguished intellectuals from the clergy and the uneducated, as well as from engineers [not theoretical enough] and lawyers.