September 21, 2011
WORD OF THE DAY
sotto voce (n)
1. in a low, soft voice so as not to be overheard
2. Italian: under (the) voice
Competitive democracy has also made our government more adaptable in the face of changing circumstances, and therefore more stable and durable. Authoritarian regimes such as China’s are sometimes envied sotto voce for their decisiveness and their freedom from democratic muddle. Over time, however, such governments tend to become not only corrupt but insular and sclerotic. Their suppression of political competition makes them progressively weaker. America’s constitutional regime has endured for more than two centuries, outlasting a long parade of rivals that looked stronger for a time but came to ignominious ends.
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