Raymond A. Jones is a history professor at Carleton University in
Yves Leclerc, formerly the chief political writer for Montreal’s La
Presse, has faithfully fulfilled the mandate of the Food for Thought
series of Robert Davies Publishing: to be critical, dissident, and
iconoclastic. The target, liberal democracy and its supposed failings,
is presented to the reader in a series of short, pithy, precise
jeremiads. Taking dead aim at Fukuyama’s The End of History, with its
shortsighted gloat at the supposed triumph of American liberal democracy
over Soviet communism, Leclerc posits a fatally flawed liberal democracy
full of internal contradictions unable to cope in either a domestic or
an international context.
In part because of space limitations, the argument tends to be
defamatory rather than critical and entirely lacks any scholarly
What Leclerc has to say about the supposed historical failings of the
democratic system is not as important as the message that the democratic
system faces unprecedented challenges from the technological
transformation now under way in the Third Industrial Revolution.
Leclerc’s short concluding chapter “Beyond Democracy?” suggests
that the future may not be so bleak if active steps are taken to empower
the people. Power ultimately rests with ideas—and to that end, Leclerc
appends an annotated bibliography of great works in political theory.