Why Democracy Doesn’t Give Us What We Want
That Americans are in the throes of a crisis in democracy has become a commonplace refrain of late. I have noticed that almost all such commentary treats political democracy, implicitly or explicitly, as the ideal. Yet in truth it is a seriously flawed ideal. In fact, as F. A. Hayek noted years ago,
all the inherited limitations on government power are breaking down before…unlimited democracy…the problem today.
Perhaps the most blatant evidence against the idea that moving toward more democracy is always an improvement is the frequency with which policies and candidates claiming majority support advance coercive measures that take from some to give to others. That is robbery, which violates universal moral and ethical principles, making it less than an ideal.
There are, in fact, several ways that political democracy comes up short as an ideal. An ideal would avoid violating individuals’ established rights. It would be responsive; people’s choices would have to matter. It would give people incentives to become well informed and think carefully about policies. It would require powerful incentives to deter dishonesty and misrepresentation. It would have to be limite
Article from Mises Wire