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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Monday, January 23, 2006

Democracy and Elitism

From Michael Barone's column

In his 2005 book "Law, Pragmatism and Democracy," Posner nominates as the Virgil to guide us through our "Inferno" and "Purgatorio" the Austrian-born economist Joseph Schumpeter. Schumpeter -- hardly a sympathetic figure -- was an elitist who believed the achievements of capitalism were threatened by the greed and ignorance of the masses. But he supported popular electoral democracy -- a controversial stand in the Mitteleuropa of the 1920s -- if only to give the masses a sense that they were in control. "Democracy," as Posner describes Schumpeter's view, "is conceived of as a method by which members of a self-interested political elite compete for the votes of a basically ignorant and apathetic, as well as determinedly self-interested, electorate."
Belief in democracy and elitism are compatible after all. And this sounds a lot like my tongue-in-cheek defense of democracy below.

Blogger ssc said...

Faux populism. Misunderstandings upon misunderstandings.

3:52 PM, January 23, 2006  

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