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By Robert A. Dahl

During this e-book, one of many world's so much unusual political scientists discusses the issues, strengths, and weaknesses of democracy as a mode of selection making for contemporary governments. Robert A. Dahl examines the foundations on which the authority of democratic executive rests, the query of who "the humans" may be within the idea of "rule through the people," and the categories of democracy that healthy diversified events. In a brand new bankruptcy Dahl recognizes the significance of market-oriented economies to democratic associations yet advises newly democratic governments to undertake a method within which unregulated markets are transformed by means of a certain quantity of governmental intervention.

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Extra info for After the Revolution?: Authority in a Good Society, Revised Edition

Example text

If X happens to be yourself, the majority principle will, I imagine, seem even more doubtful to you.  Must we now conclude that, quite to the contrary, because of differences in competence there are no circumstances when democracy is best?  Its implications for democracy depend on one's judgment about the competence of the ordinary person.  One of the minor ironies of politics is to hear those who claim to believe in democracy agreeing with their opponents that the Criterion of Competence cannot be reconciled with political equality, for it is obvious that if you think that authority based on competence is inimical to political equality and thus to democracy, then you must think that the ordinary person is incompetent.

Practically everyone accepts superior competence as a criterion for making decisions on some matters.  On the contrary, if significant differences in competence are involved, it may be much more rational for you to insist that the matter be decided by the most competent authority.  You may choose to honor one or the other exclusively, or, what is much more likely, you may try to find some optimum mix that is satisfactory by both criteria but perfect by neither.  In fact, to the extent that each member is the best judge of what is best, the Criterion of Competence requires decision making based on equality and democracy.

However, if I say that, so far as I am concerned, a process meets the Criterion of Competence perfectly, I mean that although the specific decisions are not necessarily identical with my expressed preferences (I may have none) and may even contradict them (if I do have any), I am nonetheless certain that they are exactly what I would want if I were competent to make specific judgments in that domain.  In other cases, however, the optimal solution might leave you with precious little room for Personal Choice or for political equality and democracy.

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