Thom Brooks, "A Defence of Sceptical Authoritarianism," Politics 22(3) (2002): 152-62. (subscription-only)
Vittorio Bufacchi argued in this journal that democracy was under threat from two extreme philosophical positions: totalitarianism and nihilism. Sandwiched between these polarities is liberal democracy. Bufacchi believes that one of liberal democracy's distinctive properties is an endorsement of scepticism, which he then attempts to illuminate. In contrast, this article will argue that an authoritarian government bound by a constitution permitting civil liberties might also adopt political scepticism. This removes the aforementioned distinctiveness of liberal democracy in this regard and, in addition, leads us toward a rethinking of the possibility of a more plausible consideration of democracy.