GMAT-Reading Comprehension



A false analogy underlies the philosophy of classical liberalizers. According to this analogy, as the individual is to the nation-state, so the nation-state is to the international community. Woodrow Wilson articulated this idea when he said that nations must be “governed in their conduct toward each other by the same principles that govern the individual citizens of all modern nations”. The analogy suggests that each nation has a unitary national will, expressed in the results of its elections. This leads to difficulties in the case of non-democratic nations, but it leads to even more pervasive misunderstandings of democratic nations, those which have apparently representative electoral systems. The acceptance of these two specious assumptions leads to the seeming inexplicability of reversals in diplomatic negotiations, with the leadership of one nation failing to recognize that no single issue is of vital importance to another nation, but only to certain factions within that nation.

[The difficult words in this passage are articulated (expressed), pervasive (widespread), specious (misleading), inexplicable (unexplainable) and factions (groups)]


6.In the passage the author is primarily concerned with

(A) defending the liberal tradition

(B) rejecting the tenets of classical liberalism

(C) qualifying a premise of democratic political theory

(D) comparing electoral systems

(E) analyzing diplomatic negotiations between democratic nations


This is a ‘primary purpose’ question. In a short passage like this, the hint to the correct answer is usually found in the first sentence itself. The author opens the passage with “A false analogy underlies the philosophy of classical liberalizers”, and substantiates this statement in each of the subsequent sentences. So, his main concern in the passage can best be stated as ‘rejection of the tenets of classical liberalism’. So, (B) is the answer.

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