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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

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Edmund Burke, Democracy and Faux Populism

The comments to the "Aristocratic Blogging" post invite a formal reply.

Edmund Burke was no doubt an elitist -- a conservative one -- but nonetheless elitist. He favored the landed gentry and nobles. He defended their rights and privileges -- while, yes, also pointing out their responsibilities.

Somewhere in Burke's Revolution in France, he comments how wonderful democratic dialogue is in that the dialogue progresses based on each person's observations -- even if that observation is coming from the least learned person in the room. My view is this is a minimalist view of democracy -- entirely consistent with the King's view of his Court advisors. I call this faux populism.

Real populism entails risk -- that is believing the mob could do a better job than the current crew in Washington and St. Paul.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Suppose we could identify a person, hypothetically, that was the primary founder of, let's say, a debate society that, by definition and practice, was elitist. Such a society had rigorous membership standards, and although attendance was open to all, in practice only those with similar interests attended. Would such a founder be an elitist?

12:41 PM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:58 AM, January 22, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

If land ownership and the right to pass one's property on to one's heirs (as landed gentry) is elitist, then call me a proud elitist.

Private property ownership, if solid and free from taxation and regulation, may be more important than even democracy.

8:00 AM, January 22, 2006  

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