Our estimable host Erik Kain has invited me to be part of the main page. It seems to be a tradition for people to drop their nicknames and adopt a more formal full name. Pat Calahan became Patrick. RTod became Tod Kelly and so on. My full name is Anantharaman Muralidharan. Given that my name is so long, it would be better if everyone stuck with calling me Murali. First, a few things about me: I am a Masters Student studying political philosophy at the National University of Singapore. I have served in the army in the Singapore Armed forces as a conscript, and I did my undergrad degree in the cell and molecular biology.
My political views are strange in certain respects. I am a Rawlsian, and a libertarian. This would set me up as a kind of liberaltarian and would not be an unfair characterisation of my views. Yet, when it comes to democracy and civil disobedience, I come off somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun. Erik characterised a tension between libertarianism and democracy in two posts. While there was some pushback against Erik’s characterisation of libertarians, I actually agree with Erik’s basic point. Once we get stable minimal government, what role is there left for democracy? Of course I embrace this line of reasoning, which probably pisses all the other libertarians off and makes the social democrats jump for joy. The neo-liberal/liberaltarian monster is here and I am he.
I wish to thank Erik deeply for giving me this opportunity to post here, and it is a great honour to join him as one of the gentlemen at the league. Also, part of the reason why it is such an honour is because of the commenters themselves. We have a great commentariat here and this is why I continue to come back even if I don’t always have the time to say something.
So, to start off, here is a question I would like to ask the League: What is your true rejection for Democracy?
I will give a few reasons as to why democracies could be deeply problematic:
1. Pace Jason Brennan, democracies inflict incompetent electorates on its residents and are therefore fundamentally unjust.
2. Arrow’s theorem shows that representative democracies are irrational.
3. Guido Pincione and Fernando Teson argue that public deliberation in democracies is often irrational
4. Even in theory, democracy, as far as consent by the governed goes, is a farce.
5. We have better possible alternatives such as liberal constitutional technocracy and epistocracy (see attached Brennan PDF)
The question is about what it would take for you to reject democracy and the above are some considerations that might just be sufficient. For me, my true rejection of my scepticism about democracy would be if we found that the institution of unconditional universal suffrage was better than any others at ensuring that the social institutions complied with the principles of justice. i.e. the justice of democracy is entirely second order.
If you guys think that this topic has been beaten to death and beyond already (or even if otherwise), consider this an open thread.
(Edited at 1 am for formatting (GMT+8[/efn_note]