Saturday, November 12, 2011

Platonic analysis arguing we ought to be wary of calls for limited government.

Are We a Democracy? -


... [W]e rightly don’t trust ourselves this far — or even so far as to make frequent use of national referendums. Nor do we do a particularly good job of choosing competent and honest representatives. Rather, the essential function of our democratic elections is to guard against the worst abuses of power. Our democracy is not so much a positive force for good government as a protection against extremely bad government — ultimately against tyranny ...

Current calls for “less government” actually mean less power for elected leaders and for the bureaucracies that serve them and more power for the “oligarchy” of millionaires and corporations. Such calls also imply less power for the people (the democratic element), since, while elected leaders are directly responsible to those who vote, those whose power is based on wealth are not.
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