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Review of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean

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Tags Political Theory

07/12/2017Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017)

The primary theme of Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean, a Duke University history professor, is that participation in American democracy by conservatives or libertarians threatens the destruction of American democracy by imposing restraints on the unlimited growth of government. She claims to have only realized this dire threat in “the early 2010s” when “something extraordinarily troubling had somehow entered American politics” (p. xv). Rather than the usual “bipartisan” support for the never-ending growth of government by both parties, a few “actions” of a few Republican governors and congressmen “seemed intended in one way or another to reduce the authority and reach of government....” To Nancy MacLean this was “a fire bell in the night,” to borrow a phrase from Thomas Jefferson.

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Cite This Article

DiLorenzo, Thomas J., Review of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 84–96

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