Elitist view of democracy. Democracy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 2019-02-08

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democracy

elitist view of democracy

Any opposition to the governing class or group is nothing but mockery. This view could be likened to Plato and his theory of the philosopher kings as Schumpeter believes that future decisions should be left to those who know best and have the greatest knowledge. In spite of this the multiplicity of centres is the basic characteristic of pluralist democracy. Similarly to Burke, Schumpeter believes that citizens do not have credible enough opinions to allow them access to directly influence democracy. Democracy recognises that all the sections of the community will receive their due shares. It's unlikely Plato would think any ruler in history was a philosopher king with good arguments being made for Marcus Aurelius maybe. However, this classical concept of democracy seems pretty much far from reality today.

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Is your Country Elitist, Pluralist or Participatory Democracy?

elitist view of democracy

Each form of government had two manifestations, one good and one bad in Plato's eyes. Being a persistent minority can be highly oppressive even if the majority does not try to act oppressively. In a democracy, he argues, those who are expert at winning elections and nothing else will eventually dominate democratic politics. Robert Dahl's early statement of the view is very powerful. A number of worries attend this kind of view. Particularly in all liberal democracies economic rights and liberties are always given maximum priority and laissez-faire is its consequence.

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Chapter 2: Majoritarian or Pluralist Democracy? Flashcards

elitist view of democracy

That is to say, those uninformed individuals should take their cues from the rational ruling elites, and let the competent elites rule. As a consequence, interest groups will not form very easily. The consequence of this is that policies will be created that tend to be more costly because imposed on everyone in society than they are beneficial because they benefit only the elites in the interest group. Elections, political parties, legislatures, and interest groups are all institutional mechanisms intended to keep American government responsive to the people. So, either equality of political power implies a kind of self-defeating equal participation of citizens in politics or a reasonable division of labor seems to undermine equality of power. He was born in 1889 in a time of European monarchies and that is the only form of government that he was familier with. Elitist view asserts that democracy does not mean that all will participate in the governance of the state because it is not possible.

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What is the elitists view of democracy

elitist view of democracy

Is having competing elites the best that we can hope for in a democracy? With respect to democracy we can imagine three main approaches to the question as to whether democratic decisions have authority. If we start with the principle of equal advancement of interests, we will want to know what it implies. Readers who are interested in more general conceptions of political authority may consult the entry for political authority for a discussion of the issues. This is good for a broader democracy, as the interest groups, considered as the intermediaries between the elites and the citizens, help achieve compromises during the decision making process. Synopsis All governments have to make choices or decisions, but they do not all make them in the same way.

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Liberal Democracy: Pluralist and Elitist Views

elitist view of democracy

Hence, only some interest groups will succeed in influencing government and they will do so largely for the benefit of the powerful economic elites that fund and guide them. Their participation thereby lends legitimacy to the outcome and perhaps even to the democratic assembly that is elected by citizens. There are arguments in favor of instrumentalism that pertain directly to the question of democracy and collective decision making generally. Today we can see this fear come true in the form of lobby groups for massive industries like oil and tobacco, or the influence of banks and wall street in Congress in the U. Unanimity tends to favor the status quo as do various forms of supermajority rule. The sixties of the nineteenth century witnessed the height of the American Civil War between the Northern and Southern states. The need to appeal to a large, diverse and somewhat amorphous sector of the population can very often be best met by using ambiguous, vague and often quite irrelevant appeals to the citizens.

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Marxist Critique of Liberal Democracy

elitist view of democracy

Empirical evidence suggests that individuals are motivated by moral considerations in politics in addition to their interests. And so each person who is deprived of a right to an equal say would have reason to believe that she is being treated publicly as an inferior. Schumpeter His Life and Work, Cambridge: Polity Press. On these subjects citizens are supposed to be quite well informed and interested in having an influence. One fails to respect the reason of the other members of society if one imposes terms of association on them that they cannot accept given their reasonable views. Without the ability to participate intelligently in politics one cannot use one's votes to advance one's aims nor can one be said to participate in a process of reasoned deliberation among equals. Some believe it is just a game of politics and many believe it is just another way for politics to get their way, or even balance out the groups within them.

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Chapter 2 Synopsis

elitist view of democracy

Thus instead of encouraging reasonable compromise the scheme tends to support tendencies towards ignorance, superficiality and fatuousness in political campaigns and in the citizenry. She may not consent to arbitrary rule or the violation of fundamental rights including democratic and liberal rights. Worse still, Anthony Downs has argued 1957, chap. Nevertheless, direct democracy is a well known and credible model of democracy and can be used to further critique Schumpeter and representative democracy. Of the two models of democracy, the pluralist model with its openness to competing interest groups appears to approximate most closely the type of democracy practiced in America.

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What is the elitists view of democracy

elitist view of democracy

Reasonable consensus does not imply actual consensus. They argue against the interest group pluralist theorists that the problem of participation occurs within interest groups more or less as much as among the citizenry at large. Mills also said that in elite dominated states the means of power are parochially exercised. And it takes the democratic process to be concerned essentially with bargaining among the different interest groups where the preferences to be advanced by each group is not subject to further debate in the society as a whole. And each person has interests in living in a world that makes some sense to them, that accords, within limits, to their sense of how that social world out to be structured.


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democracy

elitist view of democracy

A dictator to Plato had complete power arbitrarily, and would be either tyrannical or completely inneffective at governing. To conclude, Schumpeter makes a compelling argument that competing elites are the best we can hope for in a democracy. Each compromises equally on what he claims as long as the others do, resulting in each having an equal say over decision making. So it requires equal advancement of interests in accordance with a public measure of those interests. And either substantial participation of citizens in public deliberation entails the relative neglect of other tasks or the proper functioning of the other sectors of the society requires that most people do not participate intelligently in public deliberation.

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What Is an Elitist Theory of Government?

elitist view of democracy

Epistemologically, democracy is thought to be the best decision-making method on the grounds that it is generally more reliable in helping participants discover the right decisions. It is rational to leave the exercise of a skill to the experts. Furthermore as Rousseau argues, there would be increased deliberation to ensure the safe passage of changes to constitutional law; a power which would be vested in the people. Hitler did not like democracy. Second, only when each person has an equal voice and vote in the process of collective decision-making will each have control over this larger environment. So in a particular case, an individual may see that there are reasons to obey the assembly and some reasons against obeying the assembly and in the case at hand the reasons against obedience outweigh the reasons in favor of obedience.

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