By Ross Harrison

At a time whilst liberal democracy is the universally authorized and paradigmatic technique of political participation, no greater a ebook has emerged to evaluate democracy's historical past. Drawing upon democracy's heritage as either an idea and political act, Ross Harrison considers its value through analyzing the works of Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, the yank Federalists, Hume, Bentham, turbines, Hegel and Marx. Exploring democracy's dating to strategies akin to liberty, equality and information, Ross considers democracy's fallacies and as good as its foundations. Even-handedly, Ross weighs the advantages of democracy and the shortcoming thereof. Democracy is a compelling advisor via this suggestions background, and Ross keenly investigates each one paradox, challenge, professional and con of democracy.

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Presumably, if some people have knowledge about the good and others do not, then the views of those with knowledge should be followed. Yet, in a democracy, it is not the views of those with knowledge which are put into effect but, rather, the views of the people as a whole (or, more realistically, since the people as a whole are unlikely to be in unanimous agreement, the views of the majority of the people). If the views of the people (or the majority) coincides with the views of the people who know, this would seem to be entirely accidental.

Human worth or value could be looked at in itself, and it then became a quite separate question of which forms of state or political organisation would promote this separately understood value. This helps to locate the importance of liberty in their thought because since man has value when he is independent of (that is free of) a government, the problem becomes how much of this freedom he is able to preserve on entry to political society. Freedom is thought of as freedom from interference, either by government or by other individuals.

The democrats think of justice in terms of equality but the proper idea of justice is giving things equally to those who are equal, not giving things equally to those who are unequal. People are not, in this way, equal; so it is wrong to respect them equally. 31 Democracy This reply could be taken as a way of making the Platonic objection, and both as such and as an analysis of the crucial central idea of equality it will be looked at in the second, analytic, part of this book. However, the idea of justice also has its independent force in Aristotle’s account, as when he takes it that it is unjust for any group, even the majority, to rule in its own interests.

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