In this book Michael Lloyd discusses the relations between populism, nationalism, democracy, and federalism. The book analyses the nature of populism, its characteristics, and its attractions to wide swathes of national populations. Nationalism is linked to the innate tribalism of human societies. The emergence of the nation-state is discussed in the context of humankind having lived within empires, sometimes lasting for many centuries, for the majority of human history. Moreover, whatever the manifold defects of empires, the evidence is that they successfully managed the diversity and difference within the populations they ruled. The book then turns to an examination of the philosophical debates and practices of democracy from antiquity to the present day. It is argued that the practice of democracy, defined as collective decision-making, has existed in direct democratic form in collectivities ranging from clans, tribes, villages, and to cities up to around 6000 citizens. However, in large collectivities, needing to take complex decisions, various forms of representative democracy have been established. Finally the book turns to developing a theoretical and pragmatic case for moving towards a democratic federal empire, running from local to global levels, via localities, regions, nation-states, supra-regions, and a global federal structure. In this way the ever-present dangers of aggressive populist nationalism may be avoided and an era of benign nationalism may begin.
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