The Many Faces of Tyranny: Why Democracy Isn’t Always Possible

History has not ended. Across the world today, we are witnessing both a heroic struggle for democracy and reform and the disturbing strength of tyrannical regimes and movements. Whether it be the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war, the aggressiveness of Putin’s Russia or the increasing bellicosity of China, the forces of democracy and the forces of tyranny are in a dead heat. 

How should the West respond? How should we make the difficult choice between better and worse kinds of non-democratic authority when overthrowing today’s dictatorship may only bring about a much worse totalitarian alternative tomorrow? 

Waller R. Newell is Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. As a scholar and commentator he has written on a wide range of topics, ranging from classical political philosophy and modern European literature to manliness. He is the author of several books, including his latest, Tyranny: A New Interpretation and The Code of Man: Love, Courage, Pride, Family, Country. In the words of Harvard’s Harvey Mansfield: “Anyone who wants to understand modern politics will profit from Waller Newell’s eye-opening analysis.”