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The Public Architects (PA) Committee promotes excellence in public architecture and enhances the role of the public architect as an essential element in the planning, design, construction, and management of public facilities. Join us!

Could the virus kill democracy?

  • 1.  Could the virus kill democracy?

    Posted 03-31-2020 08:52


    "The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted."

    ― James Madison

    Faced with a choice between health, economy and democracy, most people would give saving life the highest priority with livelihood second and democracy last. To err on the side of decisive executive action in order to save life is understandable, inevitable and the morally and ethically right thing to do. But maybe such a stark "either-or" decision isn't necessary?

    The extent in which essential pillars of the economy and the democracy society have been knocked off their foundations at the same time is breathtaking. The most draconian measures imaginable are decreed from a single executive office, either on the federal, the state or the local level. All have issued their declarations of emergency and ordered all kinds of restrictions. The same has been on display in democracies around the world, whether they have kings, presidents, prime ministers or autocrats governing over democracies in-name-only.
    Governance in a time of emergency

    As understandable it is to look for strong, decisive and focused leadership (and as elusive it feels ) to save lives, it is also necessary to take a longer view and be concerned about the economy and democracy with some urgency as well. A couple of previous articles on this blog looked at the economy and society on the other end of the tunnel (here and here), this article focuses on democracy and its essential system of checks and balances....

    Read full article here

    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
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