The Only Government System That Actually Works Is The One With No Populism In Its Design

The Only Government System That Actually Works Is The One With No Populism In Its Design

Via Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes Even if voters were much better informed and more rational than the available evidence allows, their knowledge and sophistication would come nowhere near the level needed to make most of the public-policy judgments that confront the government on a daily basis. Those judgments entail knowledge of complexities, trade-offs, and specialized technical details that no one should expect, or even want, voters to possess. Like it or not, most of what government do
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2 thoughts on “The Only Government System That Actually Works Is The One With No Populism In Its Design

  1. (Please take notice: the comments, which follow, are written in english by me without an english, but german ‘mother tongue’). Quite an interesting detailed analysis. Me being an observer from “good old Europe”, I catch several elements I can fully agree with and others I feel compelled to add “my two cents”. I want to add an element of influence, that will have a much more prominent rank in the not so distant future. People on both sides of the atlantic feel some uncomfortness on what is going on. Yet nobody can claim to posess an overall explanation for this “uncomfortness”. My best effort would read like this: Besides al rules and behaviour as we are used to it, to consider governmentual effectively ruling their socyities, we have to face a brutal fact. After World-War II we accepted the rules stipulated by America, namely the IWF, WTO an others. it bogs down to: We are best of to favour free flow of capital, have as few as possible tariffs and so on. As it turns out by now, the GOOGLE’s; APPLE’s; FACEBOOK’s, and what have you (?/ are, or are on verge at least, to dominate the future digital society, if you like it or not. Those “FANGS” are close to obtain a degree of dominance, that causes this uneasyness in our socities. Each individual my continue to dream his own dream, but may wake up he may only to continue to dream under the terms of trade of those “FANG-type” communities. We (better you US guys) have provided the world with great ideas to assure freedom. For decades. Yet now, we face that freedom has ever and ever narrower borders. Drawn by the rules of those FANG type companies, who control directly or indirectly an ever growing part of the World GDP. Only fools will believe, that all the rules, we are educated for, will be valid for the people who learned about in school. We more likely will experience a great, big and potentially devastating morning, when all those institutions, famous to hold the world together, face a sudden loss of control. I hope I err.

  2. The authors describe a vast intelligence networks that operates incredibly well throughout the three branches of government, and I found it quite striking that it was those same “voters” who are given such short shrift by the authors, who put the elected officials in place or those they appointed and their hires to construct those networks. A bit of cognitive dissonance arises.

    The authors end their mini-tome, entitled “More professionalism, less populism: How voting makes us stupid, and what to do about it,” like this:

    “Remember, too, that Tocqueville, even as he worried that anti-social individualism and majoritarian tyranny would unravel the American experiment, took hope from Americans’ unexcelled capacity for building civic connections that act as go-betweens and social organizers. That is exactly what parties and political intermediaries do, when they work as they should: by gathering multiple (often conflicting) strands of public opinion, balancing multiple interests, injecting expert knowledge, taking a longer view, and then submitting the results to the American public. In asking the public and the reform community to reconsider the cult of participation and rediscover the value of intermediation, we seek only to recall what Madison taught: Intermediation strengthens democracy, and sometimes democratization weakens it.”

    The upshot of their concept?: parties and political intermediaries would gather public opinion, balance multiple interests, inject expertise, take a longer view and submit the results to the American public! Get that? The American public! They mean to submit the results to the same folks that “have been proven too stupid to vote in the first place?”


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