Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mark Leonard — The Rise of Demotic Democracy in Europe

"Demotic democracy" is a euphemism for "rule of the rabble," demos meaning "people" in Greek.

This is the worst nightmare of the elite and the basis of conservatism as the principle that some are better than others.

Obviously, the elite will marshall all means available to counter the rise of the rabble, which threatens the end of their privilege.

Project Syndicate
The Rise of Demotic Democracy in Europe
Mark Leonard | Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations


Matt Franko said...

" the principle that some are better than others."

Some ARE better than others... and the Eurocrats are manifestly not anywhere near 'the best' so their system has been repudiated...

"A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Mat 7:15

This all is perfectly normal...

Tom why do you keep insisting that some are not better than others? This is absurd man.... just look around in the world.... the example of fruit trees from the Lord here... sporting contests, even your all's beloved Darwinism "survival of the fittest!", wars, etc...

The entire world manifests that some ARE better than others...

Tom Hickey said...

1. I have drawn the traditional distinction between individual and person previously. It's worth repeating.

Human individuals are unique and different.

Legal persons are the universally the same and are equal before the law. All persons have identical obligations, rights and responsibilities as persons.

This is a fundamental principle of liberalism, which was enunciated in the Declaration as, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Lincoln expressed this as government of, by and for the people.

What this means politically is absence of privilege among legal persons, that is, political and legal equality. This excludes birth pedigree, number of military one commands, how credentialed one may be, or how many assets one owns.

The reason that the founding fathers saw no contradiction between this view and holding slaves is that slaves were not legal persons and at the time many considered them subhuman. The same applied in the democracy of ancient Athens, which had a slave economy.

2. The terms "good," "better" and "best" are value terms and "better" and "best" imply ordinality. They imply criteria but do not specify precise criteria, nor are their absolute criteria available.

Conservatives, who generally argue for privilege rather than equality, must therefore either specific criteria or assume "natural" criteria that are self-evident, such as nobility of birth, excellence in war, accumulative ability of acquisitors, or intellectual ability of intelligentsia, as criteria.

There is nothing wrong with ranking on such criteria wrt to the category in which the ordering takes place.

But there is an illogical jump in applying that ordering external to the category.

Conservatives assume the ordering applies politically, so that political and legal privilege is metered by nobility of birth, prowess in fighting, ability to dominate in argument, or ability to accumulate assets. Thus the different political systems in which an elite rule based on aristocracy, dominance, technocracy, or plutocracy.

Democracy is supposed to be based on the rule of the people as legal persons, equal before the law and in a political environment in which political privilege is absent even though there may be social stratification and distributive inequality.

Of course, it is presumed that government of the people, by the people and for the people will select reasonably good candidates in free elections when the electorate is suitability informed, which the role of a free press, on the assumption of rational agents optimizing utility. Liberalism is based on reason as well as free choice.

Conservatives don't trusts the outcome of this, so they doctor direct democracy to prevent government of, by and for the people from being rule of the rabble. This through republican government that is indirect democracy in which the people only vote for representatives, which generally only come from the elite classes owing to the selection process. In the US, there is even the fail-safe mechanism of the electoral college.

Therefore, conservatives hate referenda since they are manifestations of direct democracy and allow for a measure of rule by the rabble. Sine conservatives reject the wisdom of crowds, they would like to see all forms of direct democracy excluded from the political process, with the process controlled as much as possible by elites.

Thatcher to Hayek: "You want me to be a liberal. I am a Tory."

Peter Pan said...

Some BELIEVE they are better than others. Also known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. The Eurocrats are the latest poster child of an example.

My view and Matt's view are compatible :)

Tom Hickey said...

The study the effect is based on is relevant to what, exactly?

Peter Pan said...

The Eurocrats believe they are competent. They believe they are skilled, although in that regard they have credentials as evidence.

Magpie said...

I love comment threads; they often offer more insight than the posts which they follow. But even when they don't offer any insight, they can be great fun.

This thread is a keeper, definitely. :-)

Anonymous said...

John 13:34-35
'A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another'.

So, for everyone who accepts Christ as a teacher, then what they should practice is clear.

Can imagine Jesus standing on the shores of Galilee, a crowd gathered around, saying this. People look at each other: - 'I should love that guy - but I am better than him. What sort of teacher is this. Doesn't he know I play football better than the other guy, and I am smarter. Therefore, I am better'.

So that's where mind slips in: - you play football better and you are smarter, therefore .... but you are not a better human being. In fact, compared to the other guy, you may be quite tarnished.

A wise father, a wise mother, loves all of their children with all of their heart. Not one better than the other - different aptitudes yes; unique yes; but in the heart, not one better than the other. Looking through the eyes of the heart, there is a new, more peaceful, more appreciative landscape.

The heart unifies; mind sees differences. That's why Christ issued a new command. He knew what his audience was like. On seeing which, Magpie played his flute ...!