Richard Posner on Democracy - Dictionary of Arguments
Surowiecki I 331
Democracy/Richard Posner/Surowiecki: Posner turns against the civil assemblies called to life by James S. Fishkin, among others, at which a representative cross-section of all social classes come together to discuss political issues:
PosnerVsFishkin: "Citizens have little taste in abstraction, little time and even less inclination to spend a considerable part of their free time training themselves to be informed and responsible voters". And further: "It is much more difficult to get a solid idea of what is necessary for the whole society than to be aware of one's own interests". (1)
Democracy/Surowiecki: the dispute between Posner and Fishkin is about the question of what we mean by democracy at all: do we have a democracy, because it...
a) gives people a feeling of being involved in everything and being able to determine their own lives,
...and that is why it contributes to political stability? Or
b) because citizens have the right to govern themselves, even if they use this right in a ridiculous way? Or
c) Because democracy is an excellent instrument for making intelligent decisions and discovering the truth?
1. Richard Posner, Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy (Harvard University Press, Cambridge 2003), S. 131 f., 164._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Richard A. Posner
Economic Analysis of Law, Ninth Edition New York 2014
Die Weisheit der Vielen: Warum Gruppen klüger sind als Einzelne und wie wir das kollektive Wissen für unser wirtschaftliches, soziales und politisches Handeln nutzen können München 2005