(I) THE TWO TYPES OF DEMOCRACY, LIBERAL AND TOTALITARIAN
essential difference between the two schools of democratic thought as
they have evolved is not, as is often alleged, in the affirmation of
the value of liberty by one, and its denial by the other. It is in
their different attitudes to politics. The liberal approach assumes
politics to be a matter of trial and error, and regards political
systems as pragmatic contrivances of human ingenuity and spontaneity.
It also recognizes a variety of levels of personal and collective
endeavour, which are altogether outside the sphere of politics. The
totalitarian democratic school, on the other hand, is based upon the
assumption of a sole and exclusive truth in politics.
It may be called political Messianism in the sense that it postulates
a preordained, harmonious and perfect scheme of things, to which men
are irresistibly driven, and at which they are bound to arrive. It
recognizes ultimately only one plane of existence, the political. It
widens the scope of politics to embrace the whole of human existence.
It treats all human thought and action as having social significance,
and therefore as falling within the orbit of political action. Its
political ideas are not a set of pragmatic precepts or a body of
devices applicable to a special branch of human endeavour. They are an
integral part of an all-embracing and coherent philosophy. Politics
is defined as the art of applying this philosophy to the organization
of society, and the final purpose of politics is only achieved when
this philosophy reigns supreme over all fields of life.