08 October 2007

Why Democracy?

The demise of "select" status at The New York Times means the regular readers like me have access to the columnists who used to be hidden behind a wall. Yesterday Stanley Fish, an often interesting, frequently irritating columnist had this useful, good-natured column on offer. It seems he was interviewed by folks at the BBC for a new project they are doing called "Why Democracy?". The BBC folks hope to encourage debate. I suspect that they will probably encourage lots of posturing and shouting and not much mutual exchange or listening. We'll see.

As for Fish, I agree with many of his answers. I agree with his view that demcoracy is a form of government, but think I think that voting is not the sole decision mechanism oon which democrats might rely. That is relatively minor. The more important difference between us is where he says that he thinks democracy is its own worst enemy. That is a topic for another post. But I do not think that we are drawn down the path Fish seems to think unavoidable, or at least irresistable should the majority choose to go there.

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