1. Aristotle's criticisms of democracy were often insightful and prescient, particularly his objection that it undermines the rule of law.
2. Populist parties are promising a return to a purer form of democracy, but this often leads to demagoguery and disregard for the rule of law.
3. The challenge is to persuade the electorate that constitutional obstacles are necessary protections against tyranny and leaders who only represent themselves.
The article argues that Aristotle's criticisms of democracy are relevant in the current political climate, particularly with the rise of populist movements and leaders who disregard the rule of law. The author notes that Aristotle believed a functioning state requires the rule of law to prevent those in power from tyrannizing others, and that modern democracies have traditionally accepted this principle. However, some populist parties promise a return to a purer form of democracy where the will of the majority is sovereign, which can lead to demagoguery and an all-powerful leader imposing their will without restraint.
The article provides examples of how this disregard for the rule of law is evident in various countries, including Russia, Hungary, and the UK. The author also highlights how some on the hard left have little time for due process when demanding denationalization or clamping down on corporate profits. The greatest example of degenerative democracy is seen as Donald Trump, who has no concern for international or national rule of law.
Overall, the article presents a well-reasoned argument based on Aristotle's thinking and contemporary political events. However, it could be argued that there is a bias towards liberal democratic values and against populist movements. While it is true that some populist leaders have disregarded the rule of law, it is also important to consider why these movements have gained popularity in recent years. Additionally, there may be counterarguments to Aristotle's criticisms of democracy that are not explored in depth.
Furthermore, while the article notes potential risks associated with disregarding the rule of law and promoting pure forms of democracy, it does not provide concrete solutions for saving democracy beyond persuading people about constitutional obstacles. It would be helpful to explore potential policy solutions or ways to address underlying issues driving support for populism.
In conclusion, while the article provides valuable insights into Aristotle's thinking on democracy and its relevance today, it should be read critically with an awareness of potential biases and limitations in its analysis.