Whose Democracy? by Sabrina P. Ramet

By Sabrina P. Ramet

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I am also grateful to George Schöpflin for his feedback on earlier drafts of the introduction and conclusion, to Sami Repishti and Nemanja Marcetic for their feedback on an earlier draft of chapter 6; to Katarzyna Dziwirek for assisting me with the diacritical marks in chapter 4; and to Dasha Koenig for assisting me with the diacritical marks in chapter 5. I also wish to express my gratitude to the anonymous reader contracted by Rowman & Littlefield for most helpful advice and suggestions (including for having suggested the title); to Joan McCarter for preparing the tables used in this volume and for printing out the final manuscript submitted to the press; and to my editor, Susan McEachern, for her interest in this project, her encouragement at every stage, and her helpful suggestions along the way.

34 Page 13 Meyers's argument serves us in two ways. First, it suggests that the entire notion of rights of groups is founded on mythology and, further, that Locke's linkage of Universal Reason with specifically individual rights was well founded. 35 Second, it invites us to speculate as to whether a demand, for example, that Slovaks have a right to speak Slovak anywhere in Slovakia should not, perhaps, be rephrased as a right to speak any language they choose anywhere in Slovakia. Or, to put it another way, which Slovak is freer: the Slovak who is guaranteed the right to speak Slovak (but not any other language) anywhere in Slovakia or the Slovak who is guaranteed the right to speak Slovak or Hungarian or Spanish or Swahili or Esperanto or any other language without fear of punishment?

One can define nationalism in such a way that perhaps no one would object to it. For example, if by nationalism one means merely cultural awareness or civic-mindedness, then it is apparent that a society is enriched and protected by the presence of these phenomena in large amounts. If, on the other hand, one means destructiveness and chauvinism, then it is hard to be positive about the phenomenon. On an understanding of nationalism as destructive chauvinism, John Keane has recently written: Nationalism is a scavenger.

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