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For all their significant differences, these philosophers

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For all their significant differences, these philosophers [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2014, 10:59
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For all their significant differences, these philosophers had one thing in common: they believed that modern political thinking must be based on reason, on a rational analysis of human nature and of the conditions necessary for freedom and justice, in states maintained by the consent of the governed. Hence, they would almost all share a certain despair and wonder at the extent to which modern politics has in some places been dominated by irrationality, by, for example, the success of charismatic tyrants who justify their activities by the cult of personality or by racial-ethnic-nationalistic metaphors or by a return to theocracy, the rule of the clerisy in the name of a traditional religion.

Dealing with such states creates real problems for Liberals and Communists alike, because they rest on principles foreign to the entire modern Western tradition and hence are often frustratingly incomprehensible to Westerners. Its very hard for us to accept that some people may not want democracy, do not place a particularly high value on personal liberty to do as they wish, and are not concerned about the consent of the governed or citizens' rights in the way that our models of the state require.

In the West, the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order is very much alive and in the ascendant, as the hard-won adjustments to that brought about by a socialism inspired by Marx are, bit by bit, being shredded by the need to keep capitalism dynamic and by the growing power of giant corporations. At the same time, however, the threats posed by terrorism are leading many Western governments to introduce significant limitations on personal liberty in the name of national security.

It's also clear that the political and economic success of Western liberalism is helping to increase the already alarming gap between rich and poor throughout the world, in precisely the way Marx predicted. There is no shortage of dire warnings about the urgent need to address this issue with something more than World Trade Organization meetings and World Bank loans. But any intelligent and effective steps for more global justice may well require a significant re-evaluation of the very principles on which the success of that liberalism depends.
Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

A The pressures excerpted on capitalist countries by the Marxist movement resulted in beneficial changes.
B Western response to the threat of terrorism runs counter to the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order.
C The World Trade Organization is not fulfilling its duties in the battle against terrorist threats.
D Liberals and Communists hold vastly different opinions concerning the legitimacy of charismatic tyrants.
E The Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order can explain the ineffectiveness of World Bank loans in developing nations.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B


The main point of the fourth paragraph is:

A In order to fairly distribute the world's resources, the successful political philosophies of Western liberalism may require changes.
B Western liberalism is responsible for making the world's poor poorer and the world's rich richer.
C The World Trade Organization is not doing enough to combat the spread of liberalism.
D World Bank loans are ineffective in addressing the needs of developing countries.
E An intelligent and effective approach to justly distributing the world's resources may require changes to both the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
A


Which of the following most accurately describes the meaning of the first sentence of paragraph three?

A Modern corporations are threatening the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order.
B Marxist socialism is successfully adjusting to the threat of capitalism.
C The threats posed by terrorism have resulted in limitations on personal liberty in many Western governments.
D Capitalism made concessions to Marxist socialism that are now being undone.
E The West won its battle to stem the spread of socialism in the East.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
D


The author would most likely not agree with which of the following?

A The disparity amongst the wealth of nations is growing.
B Some of the steps taken by Western governments to combat terrorism are anti-liberal.
C Democratic societies will not elect their leaders irrationally.
D Personal liberty is a virtue of liberal governments that should be highly valued.
E Modern political thinking should be based on reason.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
C


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Re: For all their significant differences, these philosophers [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2014, 10:56
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Dear aashu4uiit,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

This is a very complex and difficult passage. It is good practice for the real GMAT.

You asked about question #3:
3) Which of the following most accurately describes the meaning of the first sentence of paragraph three?

Here's that sentence:
In the West, the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order is very much alive and in the ascendant, as the hard-won adjustments to that brought about by a socialism inspired by Marx are, bit by bit, being shredded by the need to keep capitalism dynamic and by the growing power of giant corporations.

From this sentence alone, we see that two elements
a) the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order
b) modern capitalism
are aligned. If they are not identical, at least they seem inextricably woven together, and they are both described as victorious and virtually unstoppable in the modern world.
Meanwhile, the "adjustments" --- ways that capitalism had been changed to make it more fair, more equitable --- those are being "shredded," ripped into small bits. From this sentence, we have:
THE BIG WINNERS = the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order, modern capitalism, the corporations
THE BIG LOSERS = Marx, socialism, rights of workers, radical equality across socioeconomic clases

The meaning of the sentence has to juxtapose the winners and the losers.

A Modern corporations are threatening the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order.
No, those two are aligned. This is incorrect.

B Marxist socialism is successfully adjusting to the threat of capitalism.
No, it's being ripped into little pieces by capitalism. It "adjusts" the way a rabbit adjusts to being eaten by a wolf: that's not success!! This is incorrect.

C The threats posed by terrorism have resulted in limitations on personal liberty in many Western governments.
The next sentence discusses this, but this is not present in the sentence under consideration. This is incorrect.

D Capitalism made concessions to Marxist socialism that are now being undone.
Exactly! Those "concessions" were the "hard-won adjustments" inspired by socialism ----- folks worked hard to put these reforms, these limits on capitalism, into place, and these hard-won reforms are now be "undone", ripped to pieces.

E The West won its battle to stem the spread of socialism in the East.
The question focuses only on the West, and doesn't consider Eastern civilization at all.

The answer is (D). Does all this make sense?

You may find this blog article helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-rc-el ... g-answers/

Mike :-)
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Re: For all their significant differences, these philosophers [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2014, 04:51
mikemcgarry wrote:
Dear aashu4uiit,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

This is a very complex and difficult passage. It is good practice for the real GMAT.

You asked about question #3:
3) Which of the following most accurately describes the meaning of the first sentence of paragraph three?

Here's that sentence:
In the West, the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order is very much alive and in the ascendant, as the hard-won adjustments to that brought about by a socialism inspired by Marx are, bit by bit, being shredded by the need to keep capitalism dynamic and by the growing power of giant corporations.

From this sentence alone, we see that two elements
a) the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order
b) modern capitalism
are aligned. If they are not identical, at least they seem inextricably woven together, and they are both described as victorious and virtually unstoppable in the modern world.
Meanwhile, the "adjustments" --- ways that capitalism had been changed to make it more fair, more equitable --- those are being "shredded," ripped into small bits. From this sentence, we have:
THE BIG WINNERS = the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order, modern capitalism, the corporations
THE BIG LOSERS = Marx, socialism, rights of workers, radical equality across socioeconomic clases

The meaning of the sentence has to juxtapose the winners and the losers.

A Modern corporations are threatening the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order.
No, those two are aligned. This is incorrect.

B Marxist socialism is successfully adjusting to the threat of capitalism.
No, it's being ripped into little pieces by capitalism. It "adjusts" the way a rabbit adjusts to being eaten by a wolf: that's not success!! This is incorrect.

C The threats posed by terrorism have resulted in limitations on personal liberty in many Western governments.
The next sentence discusses this, but this is not present in the sentence under consideration. This is incorrect.

D Capitalism made concessions to Marxist socialism that are now being undone.
Exactly! Those "concessions" were the "hard-won adjustments" inspired by socialism ----- folks worked hard to put these reforms, these limits on capitalism, into place, and these hard-won reforms are now be "undone", ripped to pieces.

E The West won its battle to stem the spread of socialism in the East.
The question focuses only on the West, and doesn't consider Eastern civilization at all.

The answer is (D). Does all this make sense?

You may find this blog article helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-rc-el ... g-answers/

Mike :-)


Mike, can you please help me out with the 1st question
and in second question i am confused between Option A & E, hoe did you eliminate E?

Thanks
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Re: For all their significant differences, these philosophers [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2014, 12:19
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adymehta29 wrote:
Mike, can you please help me out with the 1st question
and in second question i am confused between Option A & E, how did you eliminate E?

Thanks

Dear adymehta29
I'm happy to respond. :-)

Here's the first question:

(1) Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
Inferences on the GMAT are tricky. See this post:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/inference- ... rehension/
A good inference is something that is not explicitly said, but which absolutely MUST be true, based on the passage. Anything in the "could be true" category is not sufficient for a good inference.
A The pressures exerted on capitalist countries by the Marxist movement resulted in beneficial changes.
Hmmm. In the 3rd paragraph, the passage discusses the "hard won adjustments" inspired by socialism that are not being undone. The Marxist movement definitely has influenced capitalist countries, but have the changes been "beneficial"? That's a value-judgement the passage does not make. This statement would involve the readers making a value-judgement not contained in the text. That's not a good inference. This is incorrect.

B Western response to the threat of terrorism runs counter to the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order.
It seems that Hobbes and Locke are included in the statements of the opening paragraph, the philosophies "based on a rational analysis ... of the conditions necessary for freedom and justice." From this, it seems clear that freedom and justice are "good" things in the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order. Then we are told: "the threats posed by terrorism are leading many Western governments to introduce significant limitations on personal liberty in the name of national security." In other words, the Western response to the threat of terrorism involves limiting freedom, which Hobbes & Locke thought was a good thing. Thus, it runs counter to at least some of the principles of the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order. This is correct.

C The World Trade Organization is not fulfilling its duties in the battle against terrorist threats.
Does the World Trade Organization even have any duties in the battle against terrorism?? The answer to this question is unclear, and it most certainly is not answered by this passage, so this statement is incorrect.

D Liberals and Communists hold vastly different opinions concerning the legitimacy of charismatic tyrants.
The first sentence of the second paragraph makes very clear that both Liberals and Communists have trouble understanding the appeal of charismatic tyrants. The passage highlights what they have in common on this topic. If they do have any differences of opinion on the subject, the passage doesn't allude to that at all. This statement is incorrect.

E The Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order can explain the ineffectiveness of World Bank loans in developing nations.
From the fourth paragraph, it's clear that the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order is leading to a growing gap of rich-poor in the world. It's clear this is a big problem, and the World Bank singlehandedly is not able to solve this problem. Does this mean that the World Bank's loans have been "ineffective"? Hmmm. Maybe. Maybe the loans have been wildly effective when they have been given, but maybe not enough have been given, or maybe several developing countries, for a variety of reasons, choose not to take advantage of ways that the World Bank could help them. We don't know. It's not even clear that the World Bank loans were ineffective, and if they were, it's not clear whether the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order can explain this ineffectiveness. Not enough is clear here. This is not a good inference. This is incorrect.

The only possible answer (B).

Now, the second question. I will just consider (A) & (E), since you asked about these.
(2) The main point of the fourth paragraph is:
The main point of a paragraph should summarize EVERYTHING in the paragraph, the entire flow of the paragraph. This paragraph states a problem, world economic inequity, and says that the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberalism may not be enough to solve it.
A In order to fairly distribute the world's resources, the successful political philosophies of Western liberalism may require changes.
This one includes both the problem, fairly distributing the world's resources, and suggests that the Hobbes-Locke as it is might not be enough. This does a very good job of summarizing the entire paragraph.
E An intelligent and effective approach to justly distributing the world's resources may require changes to both the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.
The World Bank and the World Trade Organization are details mentioned only in one sentence. Details mentioned in one sentence cannot be the main point of a paragraph. Furthermore, the passage doesn't necessarily say that either of these need to be changed. It speaks of "the urgent need to address this issue with something more than World Trade Organization meetings and World Bank loans." In other worlds, "World Trade Organization meetings and World Bank loans" are not necessarily bad, in need of change, but they are not enough --- more needs to be done. Changes to the World Bank the World Trade Organization is not every proposed, and it most certainly is not the point of the paragraph.

Thus, (A) is a much better answer.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: For all their significant differences, these philosophers [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2014, 02:03
mikemcgarry wrote:
adymehta29 wrote:
Mike, can you please help me out with the 1st question
and in second question i am confused between Option A & E, how did you eliminate E?

Thanks

Dear adymehta29
I'm happy to respond. :-)

Here's the first question:

(1) Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
Inferences on the GMAT are tricky. See this post:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/inference- ... rehension/
A good inference is something that is not explicitly said, but which absolutely MUST be true, based on the passage. Anything in the "could be true" category is not sufficient for a good inference.
A The pressures exerted on capitalist countries by the Marxist movement resulted in beneficial changes.
Hmmm. In the 3rd paragraph, the passage discusses the "hard won adjustments" inspired by socialism that are not being undone. The Marxist movement definitely has influenced capitalist countries, but have the changes been "beneficial"? That's a value-judgement the passage does not make. This statement would involve the readers making a value-judgement not contained in the text. That's not a good inference. This is incorrect.

B Western response to the threat of terrorism runs counter to the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order.
It seems that Hobbes and Locke are included in the statements of the opening paragraph, the philosophies "based on a rational analysis ... of the conditions necessary for freedom and justice." From this, it seems clear that freedom and justice are "good" things in the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order. Then we are told: "the threats posed by terrorism are leading many Western governments to introduce significant limitations on personal liberty in the name of national security." In other words, the Western response to the threat of terrorism involves limiting freedom, which Hobbes & Locke thought was a good thing. Thus, it runs counter to at least some of the principles of the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order. This is correct.

C The World Trade Organization is not fulfilling its duties in the battle against terrorist threats.
Does the World Trade Organization even have any duties in the battle against terrorism?? The answer to this question is unclear, and it most certainly is not answered by this passage, so this statement is incorrect.

D Liberals and Communists hold vastly different opinions concerning the legitimacy of charismatic tyrants.
The first sentence of the second paragraph makes very clear that both Liberals and Communists have trouble understanding the appeal of charismatic tyrants. The passage highlights what they have in common on this topic. If they do have any differences of opinion on the subject, the passage doesn't allude to that at all. This statement is incorrect.

E The Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order can explain the ineffectiveness of World Bank loans in developing nations.
From the fourth paragraph, it's clear that the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order is leading to a growing gap of rich-poor in the world. It's clear this is a big problem, and the World Bank singlehandedly is not able to solve this problem. Does this mean that the World Bank's loans have been "ineffective"? Hmmm. Maybe. Maybe the loans have been wildly effective when they have been given, but maybe not enough have been given, or maybe several developing countries, for a variety of reasons, choose not to take advantage of ways that the World Bank could help them. We don't know. It's not even clear that the World Bank loans were ineffective, and if they were, it's not clear whether the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order can explain this ineffectiveness. Not enough is clear here. This is not a good inference. This is incorrect.

The only possible answer (B).

Now, the second question. I will just consider (A) & (E), since you asked about these.
(2) The main point of the fourth paragraph is:
The main point of a paragraph should summarize EVERYTHING in the paragraph, the entire flow of the paragraph. This paragraph states a problem, world economic inequity, and says that the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberalism may not be enough to solve it.
A In order to fairly distribute the world's resources, the successful political philosophies of Western liberalism may require changes.
This one includes both the problem, fairly distributing the world's resources, and suggests that the Hobbes-Locke as it is might not be enough. This does a very good job of summarizing the entire paragraph.
E An intelligent and effective approach to justly distributing the world's resources may require changes to both the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.
The World Bank and the World Trade Organization are details mentioned only in one sentence. Details mentioned in one sentence cannot be the main point of a paragraph. Furthermore, the passage doesn't necessarily say that either of these need to be changed. It speaks of "the urgent need to address this issue with something more than World Trade Organization meetings and World Bank loans." In other worlds, "World Trade Organization meetings and World Bank loans" are not necessarily bad, in need of change, but they are not enough --- more needs to be done. Changes to the World Bank the World Trade Organization is not every proposed, and it most certainly is not the point of the paragraph.

Thus, (A) is a much better answer.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)

thank you mike , it all makes sense!
amazing explanation, kudos to you :P
thank you, once again !:)
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Re: For all their significant differences, these philosophers [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2014, 19:31
mikemcgarry wrote:
Dear aashu4uiit,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

This is a very complex and difficult passage. It is good practice for the real GMAT.

You asked about question #3:
3) Which of the following most accurately describes the meaning of the first sentence of paragraph three?

Here's that sentence:
In the West, the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order is very much alive and in the ascendant, as the hard-won adjustments to that brought about by a socialism inspired by Marx are, bit by bit, being shredded by the need to keep capitalism dynamic and by the growing power of giant corporations.

From this sentence alone, we see that two elements
a) the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order
b) modern capitalism
are aligned. If they are not identical, at least they seem inextricably woven together, and they are both described as victorious and virtually unstoppable in the modern world.
Meanwhile, the "adjustments" --- ways that capitalism had been changed to make it more fair, more equitable --- those are being "shredded," ripped into small bits. From this sentence, we have:
THE BIG WINNERS = the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order, modern capitalism, the corporations
THE BIG LOSERS = Marx, socialism, rights of workers, radical equality across socioeconomic clases

The meaning of the sentence has to juxtapose the winners and the losers.

A Modern corporations are threatening the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order.
No, those two are aligned. This is incorrect.

B Marxist socialism is successfully adjusting to the threat of capitalism.
No, it's being ripped into little pieces by capitalism. It "adjusts" the way a rabbit adjusts to being eaten by a wolf: that's not success!! This is incorrect.

C The threats posed by terrorism have resulted in limitations on personal liberty in many Western governments.
The next sentence discusses this, but this is not present in the sentence under consideration. This is incorrect.

D Capitalism made concessions to Marxist socialism that are now being undone.
Exactly! Those "concessions" were the "hard-won adjustments" inspired by socialism ----- folks worked hard to put these reforms, these limits on capitalism, into place, and these hard-won reforms are now be "undone", ripped to pieces.

E The West won its battle to stem the spread of socialism in the East.
The question focuses only on the West, and doesn't consider Eastern civilization at all.

The answer is (D). Does all this make sense?


Mike :-)


Brilliant...absolutely brilliant explanation Mike!
Thanks a lot ! :)
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For all their significant differences, these philosophers [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 21:53
Would this passage be considered to be around 700 level on the actual GMAT? Or can I expect to see it at the 600 level? The text was pretty daunting and indigestible, at least to me. Surprisingly, I managed to correctly guess the answers to all of the questions but I was only taking things in question by question. 9:38 :( I don't want to have to do that on the actual test and risk putting myself behind on time.
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Re: For all their significant differences, these philosophers [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2015, 11:25
mikemcgarry:
For answer to Question 3, isn't the option D extreme.In the passage it's not mentioned whether the Marx's Socialism is undone or not.It's just telling it is shredded bit by bit.

And For answer to Last question, the question asks the author's opinion.
The last option is the thing said by the philosophers and not the author and question asks us about what the author doesn't agree with.
Soo shouldnt this be the right Answer.???
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Re: For all their significant differences, these philosophers [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2015, 10:49
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Shree9975 wrote:
mikemcgarry:
For answer to Question 3, isn't the option D extreme.In the passage it's not mentioned whether the Marx's Socialism is undone or not.It's just telling it is shredded bit by bit.

And For answer to Last question, the question asks the author's opinion.
The last option is the thing said by the philosophers and not the author and question asks us about what the author doesn't agree with.
Soo shouldnt this be the right Answer.???

Dear Shree9975,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, here's the first sentence of the third paragraph:
In the West, the Hobbes-Locke formulation of liberal political order is very much alive and in the ascendant, as the hard-won adjustments to that brought about by a socialism inspired by Marx are, bit by bit, being shredded by the need to keep capitalism dynamic and by the growing power of giant corporations.
Here's the third question:
Which of the following most accurately describes the meaning of the first sentence of paragraph three?
And here's the OA
(D) Capitalism made concessions to Marxist socialism that are now being undone.
What you are asking is a subtle issue of connotation. As it turns out, the word "shredded" is a very intense word. Think of this way. Imagine you were being shredded. Even if a tiny part of you, say a finger or a toe, were shredded, that would be debilitatingly painful. It would be so painful that it would prevent you from functioning. For a human, being shredded bit by bit would be a gruesome and torturous death. Economic systems are in motion as living things are, so think of the harm it does to a living thing to be shredded, even bit by bit. Think even of something mechanical --- say the plumbing system of a building, or the electric system, or etc. If someone starts shredding that system, even bit by bit, it will have negative ramifications throughout the system. One key pipe, or one key wire, and the whole building shuts down. Broad functionality can shut down when even a small part is taken out. Well, economic systems are something like that that: cut out this vital piece here or there, and suddenly, the entire balance shifts, and whole states of the economy that might have taken decades to achieve are suddenly thrown off. Shredding is a very intense word, arguably almost too intense for a GMAT RC passage. Answer (D) is certainly not more extreme than it.

Here is the fourth question:
The author would most likely not agree with which of the following?
Now, this is a tricky issue. Obviously, any statement with which the author agrees is wrong. Also, any statement on which the author's view is hard to determine is wrong. A right answer would be a statement that contradicts something the author says or implies.
Now, the philosophers definitely say
(E) Modern political thinking should be based on reason
The author points out some limitations in the trust in reason. In the real world, folks act for all kinds of irrational reasons, so the author definitely says that assuming everyone is rational is a problem. Notice though, this statement is a little different. This is the question: should everyone thing about politics rationally? In other words, in a ideal world, would everyone be a rational thinker? That's really what (E) is suggesting. It's hard to say whether the author believes this or not. I suspect the author would believe this, but I don't think there's any text to support my intuition. It's certain that we don't have clear evidence that the author disagrees, so we can't choose this.
Meanwhile, at the end of the first paragraph, he says:
Hence, they would almost all share a certain despair and wonder at the extent to which modern politics has in some places been dominated by irrationality, by, for example, the success of charismatic tyrants who justify their activities by the cult of personality or by racial-ethnic-nationalistic metaphors or by a return to theocracy, the rule of the clerisy in the name of a traditional religion.
Well, we don't have tyrants in a democracy, but "racial-ethnic-nationalistic metaphors" certainly have been used in the history of US democracy, and folks clamoring for a "return to theocracy" are one sizable party in the US today. The big idea is that we see a great deal of irrationality in modern politics, and much of modern politics is democratic, so we can strongly infer that some of this irrationality occurs in democracies. Choice (C) directly contradicts this inference, and is the best answer.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: For all their significant differences, these philosophers   [#permalink] 22 Jun 2015, 10:49
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