By Robert A. Dahl
During this publication, one of many world's so much uncommon political scientists discusses the issues, strengths, and weaknesses of democracy as a mode of determination making for contemporary governments. Robert A. Dahl examines the rules on which the authority of democratic govt rests, the query of who "the humans" may be within the proposal of "rule via the people," and the types of democracy that healthy assorted occasions. In a brand new bankruptcy Dahl recognizes the significance of market-oriented economies to democratic associations yet advises newly democratic governments to undertake a process within which unregulated markets are transformed by means of a specific amount of governmental intervention.
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Extra info for After the Revolution?: Authority in a Good Society, Revised Edition
It should also be clear by now that the application of our three criteria may lead you to choose political equality and majority rule in one association but not in another. Conversely, the greater the differences in competence among the members, the weaker the case for political equality; the greater the amount of disagreement among members, the weaker the case for majority rule. For the state and other regulatory associations, then, one may reasonably opt for political equality and at the same time a system of Mutual Guarantees that limit what simple majorities, or even any coalition short of unanimity, can do.
But it will be better than anyone's ideal government put into practice. And it is arguable that if the guardians did not spend more time out of the cave than in it, they would not long be competent to govern the people in the cave. The town meeting cannot be in constant session. Surely the decisions of the state are so crucial that in deciding how much one should participate, personal convenience is irrelevant. Yet you must also take into account the likelihood that by increasing your participation you will change the outcome, the prospect of satisfactory outcome Page 41 even if you do not participate more, and your own competence to participate more fully I do not think a rational citizen weighing all these factors would be as little involved as are most citizens in all countries, including my own, but I suspect a reasonable upper limit for most people would fall considerably below that of the political activist.
Each case requires a judgment as to the amount and significance of differences in competence among the people involved. But if you have not found my argument convincing, then we would have no basis for a profitable discussion of specific cases. 7 You may also overlook the fact that the Athenians elected their generals for a term of a year (and usually reelected them for additional terms). Page 31 In selecting a few among their number by lot and election to carry on when the Assembly itself could not govern, the Athenians were respecting not only the criteria of Personal Choice and Competence and the principle of political equality but also the Criterion of Economy.